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18 ways to crush your cigarette cravings and 10 benefits of quitting

Cigarette Cravings

1 Tea, coffee and fizzy drinks can all potentially make the taste of a cigarette seem nicer, try changing to drinks such as juice or water.

2 Types of food can sometimes affect how a cigarette may taste, if there is a certain type of food that can make a cigarette taste worse to you, then increase the amount of it you eat in your diet.

3 Try waiting before you give into your cigarette craving. Time yourself to see how long you can last before giving in and add on an extra minute every time.

Time Saving

4 Keep your hands busy, buy yourself a stress ball or something similar to keep your hands occupied.

5 Find someone to quit smoking with, if you know anyone else who wants to stop smoking then quit together and spur each other on.

6 Exercise regularly to keep busy. Even just a ten-minute walk every now and then or a quick bike ride will help.

Jogging Exercise

7 Hang around with non-smokers to help you stop yourself from going out for a cigarette break at social events.

8 Chew gum or snack on things such as grapes, nuts, seeds, popcorn or any other healthy snacks.

9 Use inhalers, e-cigarettes, patches, gum or anything else that will help curb the cravings.

10 Remind yourself regularly why you want to quit, make a list and place this somewhere such as the fridge so that you are constantly reminded.

11 Speak to someone, if you are craving a cigarette then call or text someone.

12 Download an app, you may be able to track your progress and note any slip-ups you may have had. Seeing your progress visually may help to spur you on.

13 Calculate how much money you are saving each time you are tempted to buy a packet of cigarettes.

Money Saving

14 Make yourself a savings pot and treat yourself at the end of the year. For every packet of cigarettes you don’t buy, put the equivalent money in a jar. At the end of the year, you may have enough to treat yourself to a well-deserved holiday.

15 Take trips to places such as the cinema where you are unable to go out for a cigarette break.

16 Don’t give yourself a hard time if you slip up. Accept that you gave in and move on. Being hard on yourself will only stress you out more and will potentially make you crave a cigarette even more.

17 Smoking can increase your blood pressure and make you feel generally unfit. Test your blood pressure and fitness levels and re-test yourself after 3 months of being smoke-free, see if you have improved.

18 Create a ‘cigarette swaps’ plan for your regular daily cigarette habits, for example, if you are used to having a cigarette before you drive to work in the morning, allow yourself 5 more minutes in bed or in the shower, so you don’t have time to smoke before you get to work.

Top Ten benefits of quitting smoking

1You’ll probably live a longer life – smoking can reduce life expectancy by around ten years.
2Your breathing and lung capacity will improve as your airways relax.
3You will have more energy as your circulation and blood oxygen levels improve.
4You will enjoy your food more and will find your sense of smell improves as your senses gain respite from the harsh toxins contained in cigarette smoke.

White Teeth Smile

5Your teeth will become healthier and whiter and your general oral health will improve.
6Your complexion will improve and become more even as your circulation improves and your system frees itself of hundreds of ageing, wrinkle-inducing chemicals.
7Your sex life may improve along with your circulation and blood pressure – for both men and women.
8If you are a woman, your fertility will improve and you will be less likely to suffer a miscarriage – all the more reason to give up before trying for a baby. Smoking has also been linked with early menopause.

Pregnant and Improved Fertility

9If you suffer from stress, contrary to popular belief, your stress levels will decrease once you have overcome any nicotine addiction, as the cycle of addiction feeds stress as you battle against regular cravings.
10Last, but certainly not least, the health of those around you will improve because only 20% of tobacco smoke is inhaled by the smoker, the remaining 80% of toxic chemicals end up in the air around you and is particularly damaging to children, resulting in a doubled risk of suffering from chest and other health problems including pneumonia, asthma, ear infections and even meningitis.

Child with Parent Smoking

Need further help with quitting smoking?

If you need further help, tips, advice and support, then visit the NHS Website for more information on NHS Smokefree. You can also see your GP to enquire about the NHS Stop Smoking Service, where you can find out more about the various medicines and other methods available to help you stop smoking for good.

Also, read our Three quick tips to help you quit smoking for helpful ideas.

This content is subject to our Disclaimer.

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