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How to cope with smoking cravings

Struggling with smoking cravings? Don't worry, you're not alone. This blog offers ten valuable tips to help you overcome those intense urges.

For most people who are quitting smoking, cravings or urges to smoke can be powerful. Remember, urges to smoke pass within a few minutes whether you smoke or not. Each time you resist, you’re one step closer to stopping for good.


If you feel like you’re going to give in to your craving, tell yourself that you must first wait 10 more minutes and then do something to distract yourself. This simple trick may be enough to derail your craving.

Don’t have ‘just one’

You might be tempted but don’t give in. Often, having ‘just one’ leads to another, then another – and you may end up smoking regularly again.

Avoid triggers

Urges to smoke are likely to be strongest in the situations where you smoked most often – in the car or with your morning coffee. Identify your trigger situations and have a plan in place. Don’t set yourself up for a relapse. If you usually smoked while you talked on the phone, for instance, keep a pen and paper nearby to occupy yourself with doodling rather than smoking.

Get physical

Did you know that just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity can make a craving go away? Physical activity can help distract you from cravings and reduce their intensity. If you’re stuck at home or the office, try squats, deep knee bends, running on the spot, or walking up and down a set of stairs a few times. Don’t feel like working out? Try needlework, woodwork, colouring, or journaling. Chores can also be a great distraction, such as vacuuming or filing paperwork.

Remember – if you are a One You Surrey client you get free access to online fitness classes at The Gloji Gym.

Practice relaxation techniques

Dealing with stress can be difficult, especially if you relied on smoking in the past. Resisting cravings can add to the stress you’re already feeling. But there are ways to take the edge off, like practicing relaxation techniques. Try deep-breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, yoga, visualization, hypnosis, or massage. Give yourself the gift of relaxation and find what works for you.

Get support

Consider sharing your journey with someone supportive. Chat on the phone, go for a walk together, or simply share a few laughs. Asking friends and family not to offer you cigarettes can also help.

Remember the benefits of quitting

Writing down or saying out loud the reasons why you want to quit can be a powerful motivator. Consider the benefits such as feeling better, getting healthier, sparing your loved ones from second-hand smoke, recovering your sense of smell and taste, and saving money. Remember, quitting smoking is not only good for your health but also those around you.

Join our Facebook group or download the free NHS Quit Smoking App

Join our Facebook support group and chat with others who are quitting smoking together. Get tips and advice on how to handle cravings from those who have been through it. The NHS Quit Smoking app is also a convenient way to track your progress and access helpful information on the go.

Chew on it

Give your mouth something else to do to beat the urge to smoke. Try chewing on sugarless gum or sugar-free sweets, raw carrots, celery, nuts, or sunflower seeds – something crunchy and satisfying. Remember, each time you resist a craving, you’re one step closer to being totally smokefree!

Use stop smoking aids

If you’re trying to quit smoking, there are options available to help you. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and e-cigarettes are two stop smoking aids that can increase your chances of success. Remember to always use them as directed by your advisor for the best results.

Complete our short referral form and a member of our team will be in touch within 2 working days!


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