How to Beat Cravings: 31 Ways for 31 Days.

The key to quitting tobacco? Taking it one day at a time. But what does that mean?

As you go about your day, you’ll probably encounter nicotine cravings. Fortunately, the average craving only lasts about 10 minutes. But, those 10 minutes can feel like an eternity if you have no plan for handling them.

That’s why it’s important to have distractions at the ready to help you manage stress and overcome those cravings. If you’ve been wondering what to do instead of smoking when cravings hit, the following weekly and daily tips will make quitting a little more manageable.

First, let’s look at five things to remember when confronted with cravings — one for each week of the month.

WEEKLY REMINDERS

TAKE A BREAK

If a situation is causing you stress, walk away from it for a while. Try taking a stroll, grabbing a healthy snack, or reading a little.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY

Being healthy improves your mood, reduces stress and can curb nicotine cravings. Drink lots of water, exercise when you can, eat a balanced diet and get 7-9 hours of sleep a night.

TALK TO SOMEONE

It can help take your mind off your own stress and focus on someone else for a moment. Plus, friends or loved ones can offer support when you need it most.

CHANGE UP YOUR ROUTINE

Quitting tobacco is a major life change. So, it’s wise to change your routine as well. It helps you avoid falling back into old habits.

REWARD YOURSELF

Quitting tobacco is hard. Take every little success as a cause to celebrate. At the end of each tobacco-free day, treat yourself to your favorite movie or a good book.

DAILY REMINDERS: DOWNLOAD THE CALENDAR

Craving more alternatives to smoking? We’ve got a whole calendar of ideas for you, one for each day. Click here to download, or read below for 31 tips to beat cravings. Thinking about quitting? Sign up for the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline here.


  1. Make a list of your reasons for quitting and review them often.
  2. Call a friend or coworker for support.
  3. Do a puzzle.
  4. Play a game on your phone. 
  5. Go places where smoking isn’t allowed.
  6. Calculate how much money you’re saving.
  7. Keep your mouth busy with gum, sugar-free hard candy, sunflower seeds, water, etc.
  8. Change your routine.
  9. Take deep breaths to relax.
  10. Take a nap.
  11. Do your laundry for a fresh start.
  12. Read the newspaper or a magazine.
  13. Go to the movies, library, or a bookstore.
  14. Brush your teeth.
  15. Reward yourself by doing something you enjoy.
  16. Clean the house.
  17. Invite friends over for dinner.
  18. Go for a walk.
  19. Listen to soothing music.
  20. Eat a healthy snack.
  21. Watch a new show.
  22. Play with your kids or pets.
  23. Download a new app.
  24. Go shopping.
  25. Try a new workout.
  26. Treat yourself to a dessert.
  27. Think back on the reasons you decided to quit.
  28. Take up a new hobby.
  29. Do volunteer work.
  30. Plant a garden.
  31. Drink lots of water.

Need additional support? The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline offers 24/7 nonjudgmental support and a variety of FREE services to help you when you need it most. Call 1-800-QUIT NOW or visit OKhelpline.com.