Skip to content

    Quitting Smoking: Temptations and Cravings

    Font Size

    Topic Overview

    The best way to cope with a strong temptation to smoke is to quickly remove yourself from the situation that is causing the temptation. Don't worry about "how it will look" if you leave a party, wedding reception, or public function to avoid the temptation to smoke. You have an important reason for leaving.

    When you cannot remove yourself from a difficult situation, or when the temptation to smoke is triggered by something other than a place or event, consider what you can do, think about, or tell yourself that will help you cope with the temptation. Use some activity to distract yourself for about 20 minutes.

    Recommended Related to Smoking Cessation

    The First 30 Days: Quit Smoking!

    By Nicole Yorio5 ways to get started.

    Read the The First 30 Days: Quit Smoking! article > >

    • Do something different.
    • If drinking alcohol tempts you to smoke, choose a nonalcoholic drink.
    • Call a friend to get support.
    • Get moving. Take a walk or jog.
    • Practice relaxation techniques. See the topic Stress Management for some relaxation techniques.
    • Occupy your hands. Try knitting, reading, or working a puzzle.
    • Take a hot bath or shower.

    When you are tempted or have the strong urge to smoke:

    • Try to stay away from places where cigarettes are easily available.
    • Remind yourself how hard it was to quit in the first place and all the effort you have put in so far. Do you want to throw that away?
    • Give yourself time to let the urge pass. Tell yourself you will wait 20 minutes and see if the urge is still there.
    • Think about the benefits of not smoking, such as health, pride, and cleanliness.
    • Think about the negative effects of smoking, such as harm to your family, yellow teeth, and shortness of breath.
    • Imagine the immediate harmful effects of smoking. Picture the smoke going into your lungs and leaving the ash and tar in your lungs. Picture the harmful chemicals entering your bloodstream.
    • Tell yourself that you really do not want to smoke.
    • Tell yourself that you only need to keep from smoking one day at a time.
    • Imagine yourself celebrating your first full year without smoking.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 09, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    Next Article:

    Quitting Smoking: Temptations and Cravings Topics

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    diabetes supply kit
    Pack and prepare.
    handful of vegetables and vitamins
    Diet tips and mistakes.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    sticky notes on face
    10 tips to clear your brain fog.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    Trainer demonstrating exercise for RA
    Exercises for your joints.
    apple slices with peanut butter
    What goes best with workouts?
    woman having a good day
    Revitalize your life.

    Women's Health Newsletter

    Find out what women really need.