Tricks to Beat Nicotine Cravings this Halloween

Between the candy and parties, a stress-related tobacco craving could be lurking anywhere on Halloween. To help ward off nicotine cravings, it’s important to recognize your triggers, or things that cause an action or craving, and know how to deal with them. Common triggers you might run into this month include:

Feeling Stressed, Drinking Alcohol, Watching TV, Going to a Bar, Seeing someone else smoking

If possible, avoid smoking triggers altogether. When it’s inevitable, it’s important to make a plan to handle cravings.

Cravings typically last 5 to 10 minutes

It might be uncomfortable, but try to wait out your nicotine cravings. To help, make a list of things you can do to distract yourself, like:

Bum Some Gum

Prepare for tobacco cravings by carrying a pack of sugar-free gum. When a craving hits, grab a stick and smack away. By keeping your mouth busy with something other than a cigarette, you can stop the craving… and gain some fresh breath in the process.

Keep Busy

Challenge yourself to read a magazine, listen to music or play a game for 10 minutes. You could even bob for apples! By activating your hands and your mind, you can greatly reduce the effects of nicotine withdrawal. The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline offers a variety of craving cures, from puzzles and activity sheets to music playlists and more.

Learn to Say No

Social settings like parties and bars are crawling with smoking triggers. If you’ve been invited somewhere where smoking could be a temptation, don’t feel obligated to say yes. Suggest hanging out at places where smoking isn’t allowed, such as a smokefree bar or restaurant, instead.

Call or Text Someone

Lean on the people you trust to distract you. Call a friend or family member for support and encouragement. Contact the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline at 1-800-QUIT NOW or register online for FREE quitting services, helpful advice and nonjudgmental support. From texts to emails to web coaching and more, we’ve got it all to help you stay tobacco free.

Pack Your Quit Kit

Wherever you’re heading on Halloween, don’t leave home without your quit kit. Pack sugar-free gum and candy, sunflower seeds and anything else you need to keep your mind off tobacco cravings.

Breathe Deeply

Scary movies. Haunted houses. The search for a unique costume. Halloween can cause anxiety in many different ways. If you’re feeling stressed, take a few slow, deep breaths — in through your nose and out through your mouth. Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a safe, relaxing place (hint: not a spooky cemetery). Stay there as long as you need to. You’ll feel your body start to relax.

Nicotine cravings will come and go. Just remember, trying something to beat the urge is always better than giving in. When a craving hits, do what works for you. Use these tips and tricks to help recognize triggers and scare off cravings this October.

For more helpful tips, visit OKhelpline.com.