Quit Q&A

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Why do I have cravings to smoke?

Cravings are a normal part of quitting. They are both physical and habitual. Physical cravings are a result of addiction withdrawal and fade within a couple weeks. Habitual cravings (wanting to smoke) may take longer to resolve. Each craving only lasts several minutes whether you smoke or not. Fight the urge to smoke with the Five D's:

  • DELAY: The urge to smoke should pass in a few minutes. Tell yourself, "I’m going to wait 10 minutes” then proceed to one of the other D’s. 
  • DISTRACT: Keep your mind off the urge. Get up, move, go for a walk, listen to music, or take a shower. 
  • DRINK WATER: Helps with distraction, keeps you hydrated and gives you something to do with your hands and mouth. 
  • DEEP BREATHING: Relaxing. This can help you stay calm. Try 3 slow deep breaths.
  • DISCUSS: Call a friend, connect with others, either here on the QuitNet or in the 3D world. If you don’t talk it out you’ll smoke it out. The more you practice these coping strategies the more effective they become.

Each time you get an urge or a craving, practice doing something else instead. Think about where the choice to smoke will lead you, and how you might feel about yourself afterwards. The more you practice, the easier it will be. 

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