Tricks To Beat Nicotine Cravings This Halloween

Between the candy and parties, a stress-related tobacco craving could be lurking anywhere on Halloween.

Halloween is a fun and colorful time of year for the whole family. But among the little ghosts and goblins, lurking deep in the shadows each Spooky Season are those pesky nicotine cravings just waiting to jump out. Here are a few ways to shine a light on them before they grab hold.

Planning Ahead

First, it’s important to recognize your triggers that lead to cravings. It takes some honest self-reflection to recognize what activities and situations could lead you back to tobacco.

Here’s a look at some triggers that you might run into this month:

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COVID-19

Quitting smoking and remaining smokefree are critical to ensuring your lungs can fight off COVID-19. Remember, the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline is here with the FREE tools and support to quit tobacco.

While you’re out and about, be sure to follow all CDC guidelines including wearing a mask, staying socially distanced (about six feet apart from others) and washing your hands regularly.

Cartoon cat with pumpkins and broken cigarette

Unmasking Triggers

Knowing your personal triggers can help you avoid them altogether. The hard truth? Dealing with triggers takes practice. That’s why it’s so important to be prepared before they arrive. Remember, cravings typically last 5 to 10 minutes. While they can feel way longer, there are some great ways to help get you through. Let’s look at a few here:

Treat Yourself to Some Gum

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

Beat Boredom

Read a magazine, listen to music or play a game for 10 minutes. 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, like playlists, puzzles, activity sheets and more!

It’s Okay To Say No

Even small, socially distanced outdoor gatherings like bar-b-ques and family events are crawling with smoking triggers. If you’ve been invited somewhere where you could be tempted to smoke, don’t feel obligated to say yes. Suggest hanging out at places where smoking isn’t allowed, such as a park.

Practice Mindfulness

Scary movies. Haunted houses. The search for a perfect 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 like a beach or a alongside a flowing stream. Imagine how the sand feels or what the water sounds like. Stay there as long as you need to.

Call Or Text Someone

Share with friends and family your plans for quitting tobacco. Then, when a craving hits, lean on the people you trust — they’ll be there for you.  Don’t forget, the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline is always here with 24/7 FREE support to help you quit. You can register by calling 1-800-QUIT NOW or online at OKhelpline.com. Everyone gets at least a two-week supply of patches, gum or lozenges to go along with Quit Coaching.

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.

Nicotine cravings 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.