Coping with Your Quit Smoking Cravings

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

The 3 Week Diet

Quitting cold turkey may be interesting, and may work for some smokers, but studies suggest that your willpower alone may not be enough to quit smoking. In fact, only around 3% of smokers are able to successfully quit using this method. If you can manage your cigarette cravings, you’ll have a better chance of quitting. One of the best ways to address your cravings is to combine smoking cessation aids and behavioral changes.Quit Smoking


The use of smoking cessation medicines and nicotine replacement therapy can increase your chances of quitting successfully. Cravings, if remained unconstrained, often result in a relapse. It is among the most crucial withdrawal symptoms you need to address and an indicator of success.


Different Types of Cravings

Cravings occur because your body requires specific dose of nicotine which is satisfied when you smoke. Now, when you quit or stop smoking, certain receptors in your brain are triggered and you start to crave for cigarettes. There are two types of cravings.

  • That constant craving you feel for a cigarette which wears down over time.
  • The second type is the kind of craving you suddenly feel when you are confronted with a situation associated with smoking such as having a cup of coffee, seeing someone smoke, or when feeling stressed. The frequency of the cravings of this type lessens over time but the intensity of the urge may remain constant.

Addressing the Cravings

There are 3 effective ways to curb your cravings. First is the use of NRTs, second, the use of prescription drugs, and lastly the change in your routines and behavior

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)

NRTs basically deliver doses of nicotine into your body without the other harmful chemicals found in cigarette smoke, so in a way, it is a safer way of getting nicotine to appease your cravings. However, it does not give the same pleasure as smoking cigarettes.


Some of the commonly used NRTs are patches, gums, lozenges, nasal sprays and mouth sprays. It is important however, that you use the right NRT for your lifestyle. Discuss with your doctor about your options.

Smoking Cessation Medicines

Quit smoking prescription drugs, such as Chantix, are good alternatives to NRT for those smokers who want to quit smoking without the use of nicotine. Chantix don’t contain nicotine. What it does is block the brain receptors in your brain that are responsible for triggering the cravings. Consult your doctor before using these types of smoking cessation aids.

Routine and Behavioral Changes

NRTs and smoking cessation drugs can really help lessen the cravings, however they cannot totally eliminate them. A change in your routine and behavior can reinforce these smoking cessation aids.

Avoid the triggers. Does drinking coffee or waking up in the morning triggers you to smoke? You better find ways to avoid your common smoking triggers. If drinking coffee triggers you to light up, why not drink milk instead. Not only does it changes your usual routine, milk also makes it less pleasurable to smoke. Taking a bath as soon as you wake up may ease your urge to smoke in the morning.

  1. Increasing your physical activities can help lessen the cravings and dismiss some withdrawal symptoms. It can also help you ease stress and keep your weight under control. When you feel like smoking, go for a walk or hit the gym.


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