IDENTIFY YOUR TRIGGERS TO CONQUER CRAVINGS
Everyone who uses tobacco has triggers. Knowing your triggers helps you gain control over nicotine cravings. At first, you might want to avoid triggers altogether. After staying tobacco free for a while, you may find other ways to deal with these well-known triggers:
- Feeling stressed
- Feeling down
- Drinking alcohol
- Watching TV
- Finishing a meal
- Taking a work break
- Going to a bar
- Seeing someone else smoke
- Cooling off after a fight
- Feeling lonely
- Having sex
- Drinking coffee
MAKE A PLAN TO HANDLE CRAVINGS
You won’t be able to avoid all tobacco triggers, so it’s important to make a plan to handle cravings. Remember, cravings typically last 5 to 10 minutes. It might be uncomfortable, but try to wait it out. Make a list of things you can do to distract yourself, like:
- Call or text someone. You don’t have to do this alone. Lean on the people you trust to distract you, or call 1-800-QUIT NOW or register online to talk to a Quit CoachTM about strategies to quit tobacco for FREE.
- Wait 15 minutes. Challenge yourself to read a magazine, listen to music or play your favorite game for 15 minutes. Cravings only last a few minutes!
- Take a walk or jog. Don’t have time? Go up and down the stairs a few times. Physical activity, even in short bursts, can help you boost energy levels, stay healthy and beat a craving.
- Review your reasons for quitting. Just one puff will feed your craving and make it stronger. Starve the craving by reminding yourself why you want to be tobacco free.
- Go to a smokefree zone. Most public places don’t allow smoking. Go to a movie, a store or any other tobacco-free public place where you’re forced not to smoke.
- Calculate your savings. Cigarettes are expensive. Add up all the money you’re saving and decide what you’re going to buy with it.
- Keep your mouth busy. Bum a stick of gum instead of a cigarette, or keep hard candy with you. Drinking water also works!
- Do something else. When a craving hits, stop what you’re doing immediately and do something else. Simply changing your routine can help you shake off a craving.
- Take deep breaths. Breathe through your craving by inhaling (through your nose) and exhaling (through your mouth). Repeat this 10 times or until you’re feeling more relaxed.
- Cravings will come and go. Remember, trying something to beat the urge is always better than giving in. When a craving hits, do what works for you. Just don’t smoke, not even one puff!