person breaking cigarette in half
November 25, 2023

Most people who smoke are aware that this habit is bad for their health and the health of those around them. Even if you know you should quit, it’s not easy to do so. Many people who smoke have tried to quit before and gone back to it. The good news is that there are resources available to help you quit smoking as well as a number of tips you can follow to make it easier to follow through with your decision to quit. Here are 10 tips to help you reduce and resist tobacco cravings so you can quit successfully.

1. Know Your Reasons to Quit Smoking

saying no to a cigarette

One of the most important steps if you want to successfully quit smoking is knowing the reasons why you want to quit. Keeping these reasons in mind can help you stay motivated throughout the process, especially when you are tempted to reach for a cigarette. Your reason may be to protect your family from the effects of secondhand smoke, to lower your chance of lung cancer, to feel younger, or a number of other powerful personal reasons. Focus on your reason to help you overpower the urge to light up.

2. Avoid Triggers

When you are trying to quit smoking, you should avoid the places where you used tobacco most often. If you used to smoke at parties or bars, try to avoid those situations. If alcohol is a trigger for you, try to limit alcohol consumption when you first quit. If you smoke when you drink coffee, try switching to tea for a little while. Find out what your triggers are and put together a plan to avoid them or find an alternative way to get through them without tobacco.

3. Consider Nicotine Replacement Therapy

When you quit smoking, you will likely experience nicotine withdrawal. This can cause headaches, affect your mood, or reduce your energy levels. The cravings for a cigarette can be strong and difficult to ignore. Nicotine replacement therapy can help reduce these cravings. There are a number of nicotine replacement therapy options, including nicotine gum, patches, lozenges, prescription nasal sprays or inhalers, and others.

4. Chew Something

woman putting piece of gum into her mouth

If you are finding it difficult to quit smoking, try giving your mouth something else to do. If you are craving a cigarette, chew on gum instead. Hard candies can also keep your mouth occupied to help you resist a craving. Munching on something crunchy and tasty such as raw carrots, sunflower seeds, or nuts can help, too.

5. Do Physical Activity

When you quit smoking, a great way to distract yourself from tobacco cravings is physical activity. Even just short bursts of physical activity like running up and down the stairs or going out for a walk or jog can help reduce cravings. If you’re at home or the office, you can do squats, run in place, push-ups, deep knee bends, or walk up and down stairs. If you can’t do physical activity, you can try doing something with your hands such as woodwork, knitting, or writing in a journal. Chores can also be great distractions, such as vacuuming the house or filing papers.

6. Delay

You can use the delay method to help you quit smoking. If you feel like you are going to give in, tell yourself that you need to first wait 10 minutes. Then do something to distract yourself during that time. You can also try going to a public smoke-free zone so you cannot immediately fulfill your craving. Simple tricks like these may be helpful in getting you past your tobacco craving.

7. Find Ways to Relax

woman doing yoga

Just like many others, smoking may have been your way of dealing with stress. When you quit smoking, you take away this coping mechanism. The fight against cravings can also be stressful in and of itself. Try to find alternative ways to take the edge off and reduce stress with relaxation techniques. You can try deep breathing, yoga, massage, muscle relaxation, visualization, calming music, hobbies, or other methods of relaxation. It’s also best to avoid stressful situations if possible during the first few weeks after you quit smoking.

8. Clean Your House

After you smoke your last cigarette, it’s time to clean your house so you won’t see or smell anything that reminds you of smoking. Throw out all of your lighters and ashtrays. Wash any clothing, drapes, upholstery, and carpets that smell like smoke. Place air fresheners in your home and car to get rid of that familiar smell. The goal is to get rid of anything that will remind you of smoking so you won’t be tempted to light up.

9. Pick a Reward

Not only are there great health benefits when you quit smoking, but there is also a major financial benefit. You will save lots of money when you give up cigarettes. There are even online calculators that show how much money you will be saving by not purchasing cigarettes. To help you find motivation during your smoking cessation journey, choose a reward for yourself that you will spend part of this savings on.

10. Lean on Loved Ones

two people clasping hands

Let your family, friends, or other people you’re close to about your goal to quit smoking. Surround yourself with people who will encourage you to keep going and who you can talk to when you are tempted to smoke. You can also meet with a counselor or join a support group so you can talk to others who understand what you are going through. Talking to others about your temptations or progress can help give you the motivation you need to continue so you stick to quitting.

These are some great tips to help you quit smoking. If you are looking for more resources about smoking cessation, have any questions, or would like advice on quitting techniques or products, feel free to reach out to us at Lakeland Drug Company. Good luck!