If you have been using tobacco for a long time and have decided to quit, you know how strong the tobacco cravings or smoking urges can be. Whenever you experience what might seemingly be an irresistible urge to use tobacco, remember that the urge will likely pass within five to ten minutes; this is whether or not you smoke a cigarette or chew tobacco. Also, you want to remember that each time you resist a craving, you are a step closer to quitting tobacco for good. Below are ten ways the professionals at All Health Medical Group suggest to help you resist the tobacco craving or smoking urge when it strikes.

Avoid triggers

Tobacco urges are strongest when you feel stressed or in places like parties or bars. Hanging out with your friends you used to smoke is also a possible trigger. Therefore, finding out your triggers and developing a plan to avoid them is important. Exposing yourself to triggers sets you up for a smoking relapse. For instance, if you used to smoke on the phone, have a pen and notebook nearby to doodle instead of smoking. Or, if smoking was your way of dealing with stress, try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, muscle relaxation, massage, or listening to calming music.

You might be tempted to smoke one cigarette to satisfy a craving, but more often than not, this leads to more. Do not fool yourself into thinking you can stop there since chances are high that you might end up using tobacco again.

Consider nicotine replacement therapy.

When you stop smoking, you might experience headaches, a change in mood, and low energy due to nicotine withdrawal. You will also experience cravings, which are usually strong, but short-acting nicotine replacement therapies such as nicotine lozenges, gum, nasal sprays, or inhalers can help you overcome these intense urges. You can discuss these options with your doctor to know which will work best for you. Your healthcare provider can also prescribe non-nicotine stop-smoking drugs like bupropion and varenicline; these are long-acting and are usually safe to use with short-acting therapies like gums and lozenges.

Include physical exercises in your everyday routine.

Besides being good for your overall health, physical activity is a good way to distract yourself from tobacco cravings. You don’t have to engage in strenuous or vigorous workouts; even simple activities such as walking, jogging, or running up and down the stairs a few times can make a craving go away. Examples of other exercises that can distract you include deep knee bends, squats, and pushups. If you can’t exercise for one reason, try sewing, woodwork, or writing in a journal. You can also engage yourself in chores such as filing papers or cleaning.

Remember the benefits

Reminding yourself of the benefits of quitting smoking can be a motivation. You can write down these reasons or say them out loud. For example, quitting tobacco will help you feel better, get healthier, spare your loved ones from secondhand smoke, and save money.

If you need help to stop smoking, visit your provider at All Health Medical Group.