How to Deal with Cigarette Cravings When Quitting

When you first stop smoking, your cravings and nicotine withdrawal symptoms may be powerful.1 Understanding your cravings is essential for overcoming them and breaking free from smoking. We’re here to help! We have compiled some tips for avoiding cravings and relieving those withdrawal symptoms.

Identify what makes you crave a cigarette

A woman with a headache sitting on a couch

Write down all the things and situations that make you want to smoke – these are your triggers! You can help to strengthen your willpower and increase your chances of quitting for good by limiting or skipping these triggers.1

For example, if you usually have a cigarette with your morning coffee, then you may associate coffee with smoking, so smelling or drinking coffee could be one of your triggers. Perhaps try drinking something else instead, like tea or juice to see if this helps!

Avoid your triggers by breaking the habit1

Do you smoke on your work break? When you’re out drinking with friends? When you are feeling stressed?

  • Forming a habit takes time and breaking it doesn’t happen instantly. In any situation where your normal response would be to reach for a cigarette, do something new.
  • Rather than going out for drinks at your usual spot, try going somewhere that you don’t associate with smoking. Maybe this is the cinema, or out shopping.
  • If alcohol is one of your triggers, try to avoid it where you can, especially in the first week where your cravings may be the toughest.
  • If you crave a cigarette when you are stressed, then find other ways to relax. Try calling a friend, listen to your favourite song or go for a walk (exercise is a great stress reliever too!)
  • If you normally smoke after dinner, get up and take a short walk instead.

Be prepared

We understand it can be difficult to stay smoke-free when you're around other people smoking but there’s no need to cut social ties – just be prepared!

NICORETTE® products can support your willpower and help you cope with the desire to smoke a cigarette by relieving nicotine withdrawal symptoms. In order to help cope with a craving in a social situation, try chewing Nicorette Gum.

Stay positive

Always stay focused on your reasons for quitting. Try making a list of all the reasons you want to quit.

Play out these positive thoughts in your head. Better yet, make a list of them and hang it somewhere where you’ll see it often, like the fridge. This optimism comes in handy when you need to say "no" to another cigarette.

Relieve the cravings

For fast-acting relief, Nicorette QuickMist Mouthspray can start to relieve cravings after just 30 seconds to help you carry on with your day.