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Control the Craving to Smoke
Ways to Control Cravings
- Stay away from people who smoke. Temptation may peak when you are around the very thing that tempts you. If possible, avoid places or limit your time where smoking occurs, whether at a bar, a party, or on the back patio with coworkers on a smoke break.
- Keep your home trigger-free. Ashtrays, lighters, matches—if they are in the house, get rid of them. Having them in sight may trigger the craving for a smoke. This goes for smell, as well. Use air and fabric fresheners to rid the smell of smoke from your home. Also, if you usually smoke in certain areas of your house, try rearranging that area to keep you from smoking. For instance, if you like to smoke while sitting in your favorite patio chair in the backyard, move the chair to the side of the house. This will keep you from getting comfortable and settling in for a smoke.
- Keep in mind why you want to quit. Always remember the reasons you want to quit smoking. Is it to improve your health? Live longer? For your family? Whatever the reason, keep it in mind the next time you want to light up. Write down your reasons and carry them with you.
- Keep your mind busy. Read a book or magazine. Listen to music. Do a crossword puzzle. Telephone a friend.
- Keep your body busy. Go for a walk. Work out at the gym. Play with your kids. Find ways to stay physically active. Not only may it keep your boredom and cigarettes at bay, it is a good part of a healthy lifestyle.
- If you are stressed, try to relax. Try meditating or taking slow, deep breaths. Or maybe what relaxes you is taking a nice, warm shower or going to a movie. The idea is to find ways, other than lighting a cigarette, to calm you.
- Carrot or celery sticks
- Sunflower seeds
- Sugarless gum or candy
- A ball to squeeze
- Rubber bands
- Paper clips
- A pencil
American Lung Association http://www.lung.org
Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Become smoke-free: healthy me, healthy baby. Kaiser Permanente website. Available at: http://mydoctor.kaiserpermanente.org/ncal/Images/Becoming%20Smokefree%20Tipsheet%206-09%5Ftcm75-180873.pdf . Accessed September 26, 2013.
Clearing the air. Quit smoking today. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://smokefree.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/clearing-the-air-accessible.pdf . Accessed September 26, 2013.
How to quit smoking: a guide to quitting and kicking the habit for good. Helpguide website. Available at: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/quit%5Fsmoking%5Fcessation.htm . Updated August 2013. Accessed September 26, 2013.
Managing cravings: when you really crave a cigarette. Smoke Free website. Available at: http://smokefree.gov/qg-quitting-cravings.aspx . Accessed September 26, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013
- Update Date: 09/26/2013