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7 Easy Ways To Combat Cigarette Cravings

Quitting smoking is a tricky task at the best of times, especially if you’ve been smoking for a long time. That doesn’t mean that it can’t be done. If you’ve attempted to quit before but fell back into the habit because you felt overwhelmed by cravings for just one more cigarette, try adding some new tools to your quitting strategy this time. The more weapons you have in the war against smoking, the more likely you are to come out on top.

1.      Get a back-up nicotine device. If you’ve tried and failed to go cold turkey on the nicotine, you could tackle the cravings by allowing yourself to inhale nicotine without going near a cigarette again. E-cigarettes are a sensible alternative, with a range of e-liquid flavours that make the experience far more pleasant than smoking a chemical-laden cigarette.
2.      Get busy. Boredom can be a potent trigger, so try to keep the first cigarette-free week as busy as possible. Make plenty of plans with friends, get your head into your work, and do whatever it takes to avoid sitting around with time on your hands.
3.      Stay away from stress. Sometimes, stress is inevitable, but if there are any situations that you know you can avoid for the time being, try to do so. If that means meeting up with a frustrating relative or hanging out from your colleague who stresses you out are off the cards, so be it. Do whatever it takes to remain calm, and your cravings should be less intense.
4.      Go for a run. If you’re at home and the urge to light up a cigarette suddenly strikes, try burning off the temptation through exercise instead. Vigorous exercise releases endorphins and dopamine, providing your brain with a much-needed pick-me-up, and the activity should distract your mind from the thought of a cigarette. You may even build up some fitness, which is always a good thing.
5.      Try meditation. Meditation is a tried and tested tool for reducing stress and calming your mind. It can also be a powerful weapon in the battle against smoking. When you feel a craving kick in, use meditation and steady breathing techniques to relax your mind, focus on your goals, and calm yourself down to a more positive state.
6.      Remember that the craving is temporary. In the moment, cigarette cravings can feel so intense that you may believe that the feeling will never go away until you give in and smoke. Remind yourself that cravings are, in fact, temporary. Within a few minutes the urge will lessen, and with time the cravings will become less frequent, but riding them out is crucial. Give yourself a few minutes before you panic and give up on your goals.
7.      Speak to a specialist. Quitting smoking is an important goal, but not everyone can do it alone. If you’re struggling to avoid temptation on your own, don’t be afraid to ask for extra support. Cognitive behavioural therapy can be very useful when it comes to combating negative habits, and there are plenty of health therapists out there who are trained to deal with addictions. Your GP may also be able to offer some useful advice, or prescribe medications or other tools to help you get through the cravings.