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Quick Tips: What to Do When You Crave Nicotine

Got a craving right now?

The cravings for nicotine can be intense for the first few days when you stop smoking, but they will get better with time. Here are some tips on how to cope:

  • Use nicotine gum, lozenges, or an inhaler.
  • Distract yourself. Stop what you are doing, and do something else.
  • Try to stay away from other smokers, at least in the beginning of your quit. Seeing others smoke often makes cravings worse or triggers you to want a cigarette.
  • Stay away from cigarettes, or, better yet, get rid of them.
  • Remind yourself why you stopped smoking.
  • Remember that most cravings do go away after 20 minutes.
  • Take a bath.
  • Call a friend.
  • Get active. Go for a walk, a bike ride, or a swim.
  • Drink a glass of water.
  • Suck on a piece of hard candy.
  • Listen to music.
  • Chew on a toothpick or a piece of gum.
  • Relax! Try deep-breathing exercises or yoga.
  • Do a puzzle or some other activity that uses your hands.
  • Take on a household task.

What else works?

Use the space below to add to the list of things that help you get through a craving.







Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
John Hughes, MD - Psychiatry
Last Revised August 15, 2013

Last Revised: August 15, 2013

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