How to deal with cravings

Cravings to smoke and withdrawal symptoms are a normal, temporary part of the quitting process. Focus on the fact that these are "recovery symptoms" and they'll soon be behind you. Remember, if you don't give in and smoke, you won't ever have to experience them again!

What you’ll need: Start with a sandwich or freezer bag, and fill it with any of the examples below. Snacks: such as licorice, sunflower or pumpkin seeds can calm feelings of hunger and offer a low calorie snack. Activities: such as word puzzles or a stress ball can provide distraction during times of craving.

Hand to mouth cravings: straws, flavored toothpicks stirring sticks or cinnamon sticks can provide hand to mouth craving relief. Chew on these when you feel a craving come on.

Symptoms & Solutions:
Symptoms: The urge to smoke, strong cravings
Try: Tell yourself that the urge will pass in three to five minutes. Distract yourself by doing something else.

Symptoms: Feeling irritable, tense, on edge
Try: Take a break. Walk away from the situation. Deep breathing or a brisk walk can help.

Symptoms: Trouble concentrating
Try: Break up large projects into smaller ones. Look for ways to take short breaks.

Symptoms: Extra energy, restlessness
Try: Your body is rebounding. Use this extra energy for things you have been putting off.

Symptoms: Sleepiness
Try: Take a walk to get some fresh air or take a catnap.

Symptoms: Trouble sleeping at night
Try: Try deep breathing and avoid drinks with caffeine. Take a brisk walk.

Symptoms: Constipation and irregularity
Try: Add fiber to your diet (fruits, vegetables, whole grains). Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily.

Symptoms: Coughing
Try: This is a good sign! Your lungs are working to clear themselves out. Have cough drops on hand.

Symptoms: Headache
Try: Your body is adjusting to being nicotine-free. Try some deep breathing.

Symptoms: Hunger and craving for sweets
Try: These reactions are normal. Drink water. Reach for a low calorie snack or low sugar sweets.

Some of the many lasting positive signs of recovery from smoking include:
  • Brighter skin
  • A better sense of taste and smell
  • Lower heart rate and blood pressure
  • More energy
  • Reduced sinus problems
  • Better circulation
  • Feelings of pride and accomplishment