Tips To Combat Nicotine Cravings
By: George Kassimis
It's well known that tobacco use causes addiction to nicotine, creating those inconvenient urges to smoke throughout the day, interrupting sleep, meals, and conversations. Nicotine is an extremely addictive substance, so any abrupt attempt to quit its consumption can cause withdrawal symptoms that are not pleasant. The primary reason people who quit cigarettes revert to their habit is the nicotine urge that pulls their lips back to the tip of a cigarette, lighting and inhaling thousands of other chemicals into their system – some of them added by tobacco companies specifically to enhance nicotine uptake and thus, the level of addiction.
Fortunately, there are quite a few things you can do to combat this craving, even if you are heavily dependent on nicotine. While vaping is the easiest way, as can provide your body with the nicotine it desires without many of the harmful effects of tobacco, there are still other ways to rid yourself of those urges that keep you away from yourself, as well as the ones you love.
Replace Your Urge
Soon after quitting smoking, you will feel an urge to smoke rather frequently, usually lasting about 30 seconds. Because of this, you need to train yourself to delay the urge. The best way to do this is to keep your mind occupied until the urge fades. Some tips and tricks:
- Keeping your mouth tasting fresh and clean: By making your breath fresh and teeth clean, the taste and smell of tobacco will become less and less appealing. In the moment of feeling an urge, eat an apple or suck on a peppermint instead.
- Doing your favorite activity: Whether it be reading a book, playing video games, or playing a sport, keeping your mind and body occupied will distract you from the need to smoke.
- Calling a friend or family member who supports you: You can pretty much talk about anything. The key point here is that you have something else in your hand besides a cigarette, and talking about something mindless will keep your mind off the craving until it passes.
Avoid Stimulating Situations
Your environment is one of the most dangerous things that can affect you during your habit-breaking period. During this time, the best advice is to avoid certain situations that will put pressure on you to smoke. More recommendations:
- Don’t take smoke breaks with friends or co-workers: Of course, don’t cut them off, just tell them you’ll be taking a break.
Don’t Cheat On Yourself
This is probably the most important aspect of fighting your cravings. Most smokers who attempt to quit try to justify giving in by promising to smoke “just one.” This is not a good idea, since exposing yourself to nicotine will ultimately just lead to the fall back into your habit. Addiction will force your body to want more once it is exposed, and one will just lead to another. Instead of having “just one,” write down the reasons as to why you want to quit and recite those reasons out loud.
Fighting that urge that comes from nicotine is not something to be taken lightly, and therefore deserves to be understood in a detailed way. Understanding your body, sticking to your commitment, and changing your habits are the most effective steps to take to combat your craving and will ultimately lead to your independence from nicotine. We hope these tips can give you some insight, and can help you through this rough process. Remember, though – for some people the transition from smoking to vaping is instantaneous, for others it takes some time. While these tips can all help to make your quit faster and more permanent, remember to count the ones you don't smoke, not the ones you do.