Deal With Cigarette Cravings

Many people find that having cravings is one of the hardest parts of quitting smoking. That’s why making a plan for getting through cravings is so important and can help you be more successful with quitting.  

Craving Tips 

Try managing your urges to smoke with these tips. Some may work better for you than others, so try a few to find the ones that work for you. 

  • Do something else. When a craving hits, stop what you are doing and do something different. Sometimes, simply changing your routine can help you beat a craving. 

  • Get active. Take a quick walk or go up and down the stairs a few times.  Even short bursts of physical activity can help boost your energy and shake off a craving. 

  • Stop and breathe. Pause and take a deep breath. Slowly, breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Repeat this 10 times to help you relax until the craving goes away.  

  • Text or talk to someone. Lean on the supportive people in your life to help you stay strong in moments when cravings are tough to handle.    

  • Play a game on your phone. Keep your phone nearby and loaded with entertaining games. When a craving hits, games can be a good distraction to get you through the urge to smoke. 

  • Call or chat with an expert. Get free, personalized support from a tobacco cessation expert by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW or 1-877-44U-QUIT, or chat with an expert online using the National Cancer Institute’s LiveHelp service.  

Remember: Nicotine cravings are temporary and will fade over time the longer you stay quit.  

Keep Trying  

It may not be easy to quit smoking, and setbacks happen. If you slip up and smoke, do not think of it as having failed. Think about your reasons for quitting and use them as motivation to get you back on track. 

  • Keep going. Start quitting again immediately. A slip can feel discouraging, but the best action you can take is to move on from it and re-commit yourself to quitting. 

  • Remind yourself of how far you’ve come. Be proud of your small victories. Celebrate yourself for all of the times that you didn’t reach for a cigarette.  

  • Learn from your mistakes. Slips can be a learning opportunity. Think about why it happened and make a plan to keep it from happening again. Spend some time figuring out what you will do to prevent a slip in the future if you find yourself in the same situation.