Tobacco cravings are very real for most smokers and they can be hard to resist, particularly when you’re trying to quit smoking.
Don’t forget that you aren’t at their mercy though.
Quitting is possible and something that you can do.
When you get the urge to smoke, remember that the feeling will likely pass within 10 minutes or so whether you smoke that cigarette, chew tobacco gum, or do nothing at all.
Every time you resist the urge to smoke a cigarette, you take one step closer to being smoke free for good. Here are seven real things you can do now to quit smoking.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Talk to your doctor about nicotine replacement therapy. This includes things like nicotine sprays and inhalers, patches and gum, and prescription medications designed to help users to quit smoking such as Chantix and Zyban.
Short-acting replacement therapies such as gum, lozenges, and inhalers can help you overcome an intense craving. They are generally safe to use alongside nicotine patches and other non-nicotine medications.
There’s been a lot of focus on electronic cigarettes lately. The only problem with them is we don’t know for sure if they really work as effective stop-smoking solutions. Further study is needed to assess their safety and success.
Be Honest About Why you Like Smoking and Why it Will be Hard to Quit
Get a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle of it. Write down everything that you like about smoking on one side, and all the things you don’t like on the other.
This includes things like how it affects your health and gets in the way of time with friends and family. If you are feeling brave then you can get some feedback from your family about the things they don’t like about you using cigarettes.
Change the list over time, and accept that you’re ready for the change when the negatives outweigh the positives.
Smoking is never easy though, and you need to be honest about this too. Make a separate list of all the reasons that you know quitting isn’t easy. Also list some options for overcoming these problems.
If you write that it will be tough because of the addictive nature of nicotine, then you could also write down that you can try a nicotine replacement.
If you know it will be tough to quit because smoking helps you deal with stress, then jot down how you can go for a short walk or do something else to manage stress.
The point is to be honest about the difficulties of quitting while also giving yourself an opportunity to overcome those difficulties.
The urge to smoke is likely going to be at its worst when you are in situations you normally smoke or chew tobacco, such as at a party or a bar, when sipping coffee, and when feeling stressed out.
Identify what triggers your urge to have tobacco and come up with a plan to either get through them without the need for tobacco or avoid them altogether.
You should never set yourself up to fail or relapse. If you are someone who smokes while talking on the phone for example, then have some paper and a pencil on hand so that you can doodle while using the phone instead. Just come up with something you can do to get you through it.
Don’t forget that smoking can damage your furniture and the smell of tobacco can linger in the air and on furniture even after you quit. That’s bound to be a trigger. So consider picking up an air purifier and having furniture deep cleaned.
You may find that you’ve got lots of pent up energy when you’re trying to quit and stay tobacco-free.
If you’re looking for something you can do other than smoke, then think about different ways to be productive and get active, or consider getting a brand new hobby.
Do some work on the house or yard, do some cleaning and organizing in your closets or a room in the house. Pick up a new hobby or sport that you’re interested in.
Not only will these help you avoid smoking, but you can also prevent the weight gain that sometimes comes with quitting smoking.
It’s best to find activities that are cheap or just free. Rent out a DVD on yoga, tai chi, or aerobics.
Take a walk through the park, a mall, or just around the neighborhood.
These are all great ways to get on your feet and be active. You’ll soon notice that these activities get easier the more you do them, and that you can breathe a whole lot easier as you continue to avoid smoking.
Get Help From Friends and Family
Touching base with friends, family members, and support groups is a great way to quit smoking. They can really help you to resist those cravings for tobacco.
Pick up the phone for a chat, invite them on a walk, have some fun together, or just commiserate with them about the difficulties of quitting. This is where support groups in particular help. These are people that know what you’re going through and they can really help.
Reach out Online for Help
If you don’t have any stop smoking groups in your area, or feel that you need an extra helping hand, then there are a number of online stop-smoking programs you can join.
There’s also other help online, such as blogs written by other people that have quit who want to offer their encouragement and support to others who are struggling to deal with their tobacco cravings.
Learn more about how others quit, and how you can emulate their success.
Remind Yourself of the Benefits of Quitting
Write down and say out loud the reasons that you are quitting and the benefits of quitting. This includes things like feeling better in yourself, being healthier, sparing loved ones from second hand smoke, and saving money.
Keep in mind that trying to do something to beat the urge is better than doing nothing. It’s certainly better than giving in. Every time you resist the urge to smoke tobacco, you do get closer to giving up for good.