4 Ds to Beat Cigarette Craving

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

The 3 Week Diet

The addictive nature of cigarettes makes it very hard for many people to quit smoking. For some, quitting is like self-torture. They get to experience headache, fatigue, irritability, and other undesirable symptoms if their nicotine levels are low. Even if they manage not to smoke for a few hours or days, there’s still a 90% possibility that they will get back to smoking. According to studies, half of people who try to quit fail within a week!

If you are one of these people, you understand how difficult quitting smoking can be. But if you know how to properly deal with craving, you can quit smoking today without any chance of relapse! How? A quit smoking organization in Australia came up with an effective strategy to beat cigarette cravings. They suggest observing the 4Ds every time you experience the urge to smoke.

Delay acting on the urge to smoke.

According to experts, craving lasts for up to 10 minutes only. To prevent a relapse, you simply have to delay until your urge to smoke has already subsided. It can be easy to get flown away by your emotions, especially if you always have a cigarette on hand. The best way to delay smoking and allow your craving to disappear is to stop keeping cigarettes in your pocket or anywhere that is accessible to you. Throw away all the remaining cigarettes from your bag, from your drawers and storage boxes. Also take away your ash tray. Make sure you give yourself a hard time looking for a cigarette whenever you crave for it. If you keep doing this, chances are, you will be able to quit smoking for good!

Deep breathing helps.

Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing can certainly improve your mood and make you feel less stressed and anxious – two of the major downsides of quitting smoking. But just to explain – it is not the absence of cigarettes that make you feel this way, it is the intense craving that you have for them. If you will a great desire to light up, stop whatever it is you are doing. Sit up or stand up straight, and then breathe.  Proper breathing allows your tensed muscles and constricted nerves to loosen up, improving your blood flow. In turn, you feel less stressed, anxious and irritable.

Drink more water.

If you sip water slowly, your mouth will have something to do while you let your nicotine craving subside. Plus, water helps reenergize your body. You see, trying to suppress your craving can sap your energy and make you feel weak. Fluid intake, including teas, fruit juices and the like will surely refresh you – helping you get ready for another challenging day.


Do something else.

They say nicotine craving is but a state of mind. Sort of, but the reason why doing something else is helpful in suppressing your urge to smoke is that you distract your mind from thinking about smoking. Every time you feel the urge to light up, try to engage in more interesting activity. Maybe you can browse the web, play a sport, chat with your friend over the phone, cook, etc.



By following the 4Ds to beating nicotine craving, you can increase your chance of quitting smoking now and for the coming years.

Do you have other tips to share when it comes to resisting the urge to smoke? Feel free to post a comment below.


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