Quitting smoking: 10 ways to resist the urge to smoke
When you try to quit smoking, your passion for tobacco can be exhausting. Use these tips to reduce cravings and resist them.
By the staff of the Mayo Clinic
For most tobacco users, the passion for tobacco or the urge to smoke can be strong. But you are not at the mercy of these desires.
When you feel the urge to use tobacco, keep in mind that even if it is strong, whether you smoke or chew tobacco, it will pass in 5-10 minutes. Each time you resist the urge to smoke, you are one step closer to stopping smoking altogether.
Here are 10 ways to help you resist the urge to smoke or use tobacco.
1. Try nicotine replacement therapy
Ask your doctor about nicotine replacement therapy. Options include:
- Nicotine prescription in nasal spray or inhaler
- Over-the-counter nicotine patches, chewing gum and pastilles
- Prescription nicotine-free smoking cessation drugs such as bupropion (Zyban) and varenicline (Chantix)
Short-acting nicotine replacement therapies, such as nicotine gum, lozenges, nasal sprays, or inhalers, can help you cope with strong passions. These short-acting treatments are generally safe to use in combination with long-acting nicotine patches or one of the nicotine-free medications.
E-cigarettes have recently attracted a lot of attention as an alternative to traditional cigarettes. However, more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation and the long-term safety of these devices.
2. Avoid triggers
The urge to smoke is most pronounced when you smoke or chew, such as at parties or bars, when you feel stressed, or when you drink coffee. Identify your trigger conditions and make a plan to avoid them completely or go through them without using tobacco.
Do not prepare yourself for the recurrence of smoking. If you usually smoke while talking on the phone, for example, instead of smoking, keep a pen and paper with you to deal with yourself.
If you feel that you will give in to your desire to smoke, tell yourself that you should wait another 10 minutes first – then do something to distract yourself during this time. Try to go to a public, non-smoking area. These simple tricks may be enough to quench your cravings for tobacco.
4. Chew on it
Put something in your mouth to combat the urge to smoke. Chew sugar-free gum or hard candy, or eat raw carrots, celery, nuts, or sunflower seeds – something crispy and filling.
5. There is no “only one”
You may simply want to have a cigarette to satisfy your desire for a cigarette. But do not deceive yourself into believing that you can stand there. Often, having only one leads to another, and you can use tobacco again.
6. Get physical
Physical activity can help distract you from tobacco cravings and reduce their intensity. Even short-term physical activity – such as running up and down stairs several times – can eliminate the urge to smoke. Go outside for a walk or jog.
If you are stuck at home or in the office, try squatting, deep knee bending, push-ups, running on the spot, or walking up and down stairs. If you are not interested in physical activity, try writing a prayer, sewing, woodwork, or journal. Or use a vacuum cleaner or paperwork to distract yourself.
7. Practice relaxation techniques
Smoking can be a great way to deal with stress. Resisting the urge to smoke can be stressful. Get rid of stress by practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, yoga, visualization, massage, or listening to soothing music.
8. Summon reinforcing forces
Touch the base with a family member, friend, or support group member to help you resist the urge to smoke. Talk on the phone, go for a walk together, share a few laughs or come together to express your wishes. Free phone line – 800-Exit now (800-784-8669) – provides support and advice
9. Be online for support
Join an online smoking cessation program. Or read the blog of someone who quits smoking and write encouraging thoughts for someone who can fight the passion for tobacco. Learn how others control their tobacco cravings.
10. Remember the benefits
Write down or say aloud the reasons why you want to quit smoking and resist tobacco cravings. These may include:
- I feel better
- He recovers
- Protect your loved ones from smoking
- Save money
Remember, it is always better to try to overcome a desire than to do nothing. And every time you resist the urge to smoke, you are one step closer to being completely free of tobacco.
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May 05, 2020
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