Vaping is a great way to combat tobacco withdrawals as it replicates the taste and hand-to-mouth action of cigarettes and can provide you with a nicotine hit. Read more on how vaping helps you quit smoking here.
It’s important to remember that, although the craving for tobacco may be intense, it will pass in about five to ten minutes. As well as vaping, here are some other techniques you can use to resist the urge to smoke:
1) Go to a smoke-free area
As the craving should last for 10 minutes max, you need to distract yourself for that period of time. Try going to a public place where smoking is not allowed such as a shopping mall or café, by the time you leave the craving should have passed.
2) Avoid personal triggers
Identify your own personal triggers to smoking – it may be that you smoked most when you felt stressed, or had a coffee or alcoholic drink. Make a plan to avoid these triggers entirely at least in the early stages of quitting, or give yourself an alternative activity.
3) Distract your mouth
Physical cravings are your body’s reaction to nicotine withdrawal, you may feel a tightness in your throat and feelings of mild tension. Manage these by keeping your mouth occupied:
- Drink a glass of water, good hydration will help your metabolism work more efficiently.
- Chew a stick of sugarless gum, the repetitive action will help distract the craving and fresh minty flavours will discourage your urge for smoking.
- Eat a healthy snack, munching on a stick of raw carrot or celery is satisfying and will allow you to manage your blood sugar levels.
4) There’s no such thing as ‘just one’
Fooling yourself that just one cigarette will squash your cravings won’t work, you’ll only be feeding your nicotine addiction and you may well end up using tobacco again.
5) Focus on your reasons for quitting
When you’re seized by a craving, try to focus on the reasons you stopped in the first place – this can be a powerful motivator to keep you smoke-free. You may reflect on what it will feel like to grow healthier and stronger. And take the time to calculate the savings you will make, cigarettes are expensive! Think of what you can buy with the money you save while you let the craving pass.
6) Find a portable hobby
Take up a hobby that is easy to pick up and put down at short notice. You could carry a pocket Suduko puzzle book, or a crossword to keep your brain busy. Or perhaps a knitting or crochet project you can keep in your bag.
Adopt some simple mindfulness techniques to help you ride out your cravings. Close your eyes and create a place in your mind that you can visualize when you need to slow down and relax. It could be a real location, like a beach or forest, or you can make it up. Go to this place every time you do this exercise so that it becomes familiar and comfortable. Inhale and exhale deeply for up to five minutes, ensuring your breathing gradually slows and you achieve a calm state.
8) Ask for support
It really helps to know that you are most definitely not alone in your struggle to quit smoking. Choose a friend or fellow quitter you know you can rely on and ask them to help you quit by checking in with them when you need support. You can meet up for a walk, a cup of tea or just have a phone call when the going gets tough. There are also plenty of online groups and support forums where other people will be going through the same withdrawals. Post a message and offer your own helpful suggestions to others.
Read on to find how exercise can also help you to kick smoking for good.