Outsmart Your Cigarette Cravings with These 10 Simple Steps

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

Dr. Howell

One of the biggest challenges you’ll encounter when you decide to quit smoking is dealing with your nicotine addiction. Nicotine causes you to crave for cigarettes which makes quitting more difficult. Regardless of whether you quit smoking or not, you’ll feel these cravings. Maybe the only difference is that the longer you stay quit, the lesser the cravings become.

Smoking KillsNormally the cravings would peak a few minutes after your last cigarette and go away within 20 minutes. If you can deal with these cravings within the first few minutes, there is a greater chance that you can resist it for good. Below are 10 simple steps to outsmart your cigarette craving when it hits you.

Practice deep breathing techniques. When the craving hits you, stop whatever you’re doing, it is much better if you can go outside, and take deep breaths. Fill your lungs with fresh air, feel the air rushing inside you, then exhale. Repeat it at least 10 times. It will help you relax and release the anxiety building up inside you.

Drink a tall glass of water. Water is good for your body and it calms your cravings. It rehydrates your body, it makes you feel better. Avoid coffee, especially if you used to smoke after having a cup of coffee.

Do some exercises. On the average, smokers after quitting gains 8 pounds. Exercise helps keep that extra pounds under control. It also stimulates your hormones that makes you feel good and fight the cravings.

Dial your friend’s number. Support is an important aspect of your journey towards a nicotine-free life. Calling your friend help get your mind off from lighting up.


Watch a movie. Enjoy a few hours out of the house and go somewhere where smoking is prohibited like cinemas, museum, or theater. This will keep you busy for the next few hours.


Chew something. Cinnamon gum works well in killing nicotine cravings. Look for sugarless cinnamon gum or any sugarless gum if can’t find one. This will keep your mouth busy.

Play with your dog. Go outside and take your dog for a walk in the park. It is both a good exercise and distraction. It keeps your mind away from smoking and reminds you how smoking harms your health.

Listen to a relaxing music. When you feel like breaking your boss’ face, try to calm yourself by listening to a relaxing music or do something that is relaxing for you (reading, writing, etc.). Irritability and anxiety are common symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.


Have a healthy snack. Headache and hunger pangs often accompany your cravings for cigarettes. Always keep a healthy snack handy to keep your blood sugar stable and give your hands and mouth something to be busy with. Stock up on vegetable salads and fruits for your snacks.

Take a hot shower. A soothing bath can help ease your cigarette cravings. Brushing your teeth also helps keep your mouth free from the taste of nicotine. By the time you finish your bath, the cravings have already passed.

Quitting smoking is among the best things you can give yourself and everyone you love. Even if you experience a relapse, it doesn’t mean that you failed in your efforts. It is normal. Each time you slip up, you learn new things which you can use on your next try until you finally succeed and stay quit for good.


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