Many people find it helpful to have a plan to make quitting easier. You can get STARTed today by making a quit plan:
S Set a quit date.
T Tell family, friends and co-workers that you plan to quit and will need their help.
A Anticipate and plan for challenges you’ll face while quitting.
R Remove cigarettes and tobacco-related products from your home, car and work.
T Talk to your medical provider about medications and support.
Quit Tips from the Mayo Clinic:
Try nicotine replacement therapy
Talk with your doctor about nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to help deal with cravings. The nicotine nasal spray and the nicotine inhaler are available by prescription, as are the stop-smoking medications bupropion (Zyban) and varenicline (Chantix). However, some types of NRT, including patches, gum and lozenges, are available over-the-counter (OTC).
Urges for tobacco are likely to be strongest in the situations where you smoked or chewed tobacco most often, such as at parties or bars, in the car, or while watching television. Identify your trigger situations and have a plan in place to avoid them entirely or get through them without using tobacco. Don’t set yourself up for a smoking relapse.
If you feel like you’re going to give in to your tobacco craving, tell yourself that you must first wait 10 more minutes and then do something to distract yourself for that period of time. This simple trick may be enough to derail your tobacco craving. Repeat as often as needed.
Chew on it
Give your mouth something to do to fight a tobacco craving. Chew on sugarless gum or hard candy, or munch on raw carrots, celery, nuts or sunflower seeds — something crunchy and satisfying.
Don’t have ‘just one’
You might be tempted to have just one cigarette to satisfy a tobacco craving. But don’t fool yourself into believing that you can stop at just one. More often than not, having just one leads to another— and you may end up using tobacco again.
Physical activity can help distract you from tobacco cravings and reduce the intensity of cravings. Just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity can make a tobacco craving go away. If physical activity doesn’t interest you, try prayer, needlework, woodwork or journaling. Or do chores for distraction, such as vacuuming or filing paperwork.
Practice relaxation techniques
In the past, smoking may have been your way to deal with stress. Resisting a tobacco craving can itself be stressful. Take the edge off stress by practicing relaxation techniques. These include deep-breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, yoga, visualization, hypnosis and massage.
Call for reinforcements
Touch base with a family member, friend or support group member for moral support in your effort to resist a tobacco craving. Chat on the phone, go for a walk together or simply share a few laughs — or get together to commiserate about your cravings.
Go online for support
Join an online stop-smoking program. Or read a quitter’s blog and post encouraging thoughts for someone else who might be struggling with tobacco cravings. Learn from how others have handled their tobacco cravings.
Remind yourself of the benefits
Write down or say out loud the reasons you want to stop smoking and resist tobacco cravings. These might include feeling better, getting healthier, sparing your loved ones from secondhand smoke or saving money. And if you’re a closet smoker, you may save hours of time since you no longer have to spend time trying to conceal your habit.