Conquering cravings

Cravings might feel long, but they are actually surprisingly short. You can conquer your cravings in five minutes or less. Know your triggers and when a craving might hit.

Nicotine is a very addictive drug, so when you stop smoking, your body will crave cigarettes. Cravings will be most intense in the first few days and strong cravings will usually last for about two weeks. Cravings will be less and less frequent and less intense as time passes. However, you may experience some cravings at times even months after you quit. 

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What will you do to conquer your cravings?

  • NRT like the gum, lozenge, patches, or mouth spray can reduce cravings and have been proven to double your chances of staying quit for the long-term.
  • Studies show that exercising can really help with cravings. Even a moderate aerobic workout can help get you over that hump, and will help get you into better shape to boot!
  • It’s important to do something else with your hands, so keep a water bottle on hand. Drinking water changes the taste in your mouth and helps reduce cravings.
  • You are used to having a cigarette in your mouth, so have some substitutes ready when the cravings are strong. Gather snacks like celery, carrot sticks or sunflower seeds. Maybe a cinnamon stick is to your liking.
  • Find distractions to help you get through the craving, like playing with a deck of cards or gaming on your phone. Cravings only last a few minutes, so when they hit, do something different until it passes.
  • You don’t have to do this alone. Call or text a friend and make plans to go for a walk. Or call one of our Quit Counsellors at 1-866-710-7848.
  • Deep breathing can help you relax, reduce anxiety and reduce the cravings. Inhale through your nose and breathe out through your mouth for a count of 5. Repeat a few times until the cravings are gone.