Skip to content

Smoking Cessation Health Center

Font Size

Quick Tips: What to Do When You Crave Nicotine - Got a craving right now?

The cravings for nicotine can be intense for the first few days when you stop smoking, but they will get better with time. Here are some tips on how to cope:

  • Use nicotine gum, lozenges, or an inhaler.
  • Distract yourself. Stop what you are doing, and do something else.
  • Try to stay away from other smokers, at least in the beginning of your quit. Seeing others smoke often makes cravings worse or triggers you to want a cigarette.
  • Stay away from cigarettes, or, better yet, get rid of them.
  • Remind yourself why you stopped smoking.
  • Remember that most cravings do go away after 20 minutes.
  • Take a bath.
  • Call a friend.
  • Get active. Go for a walk, a bike ride, or a swim.
  • Drink a glass of water.
  • Suck on a piece of hard candy.
  • Listen to music.
  • Chew on a toothpick or a piece of gum.
  • Relax! Try deep-breathing exercises or yoga.
  • Do a puzzle or some other activity that uses your hands.
  • Take on a household task.

What else works?

Use the space below to add to the list of things that help you get through a craving.







    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: August 15, 2013
    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.
    1
    Next Article:

    Quick Tips: What to Do When You Crave Nicotine Topics

    Today on WebMD

    hands breaking a cigarette
    Is quitting cold turkey an effective method?
    ashtray
    14 tips to get you through the first hard days.
     
    smoking man
    Surprising impacts of tobacco on the body.
    cigarette smoke
    What happens when you kick the habit?
     

    Filtered cigarettes
    ARTICLE
    an array of e cigarettes
    ARTICLE
     
    human heart
    ARTICLE
    Woman experiencing withdrawal symptoms
    ARTICLE
     

    man smoking cigarette
    ARTICLE
    no smoking sign
    VIDEO
     
    Woman ashing cigarette in ashtray
    ARTICLE
    chain watch
    ARTICLE