Cigarette Withdrawal
by S2H RT Staff

Cigarette withdrawal cravings hit everyone regardless of how they choose to stop smoking. Some will experience intense withdrawal cravings while others may not. Be careful not to under estimate the power of the nicotine addiction. It is best if you simply expect the cigarette withdrawal to be a challenging aspect to your quit experience. That way if the cravings aren’t too bad, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. But hey, everyone has a different addiction to cigarettes and nicotine. So don't think your experience will be the same as your neighbors or co-workers.

Remember this rule: expect and then plan for the worst, and you won't be disappointed. You must develop a strategy ahead of time to handle your cigarette withdrawal. What will you do; will you keep something close by to help; who will you call for support? Also, plan for the withdrawal cravings to hit you at different times of the day and in different settings (home, school, work, etc.). There are numerous environmental and behavioral triggers that will cue the withdrawal cravings. Maybe it’s that morning cup of coffee or long drive home from work. The key is to know what you will do when the cigarette withdrawal hits. With a little planning ahead of time, you can equip yourself to overcome the cigarette withdrawal cravings like a pro.

Here are 3 methods many ex-smokers used to assist them when they were trying to overcome the effects of cigarette withdrawal.

1. Use flavored toothpicks

These are good as they satisfy a couple components of the craving. To begin with, it gives your hands and mouth something to do. Then, it provides an actual flavorful sensation to satisfy your taste buds. Intense flavors like cinnamon or mint are nice because they occupy your mind’s need for stimulation. Any distraction can be helpful. Lollipops, hard candy or chewing gum use the same kind of distraction technique.

2. Exercising

Okay, most people don't like exercising. It can be hard to develop a new healthy habit while trying to drop a bad habit at the same time. But this is great as a distraction tool and it helps to stave off the added pounds people usually gain while they’re attempting to quit smoking. Another useful idea here is to get a Wii or some other interactive gaming console. This helps because you keep your hands and mind busy while playing a game. It can help you pass the time away quickly, as many gamers will tell you. If you get an exercise game, then you’re doing lots of different activities which should help with the cigarette withdrawal cravings.

3. Drink lots of water

I'm not sure why this is such a big player with ex-smokers, but many swear by it. I suppose it gives them a hand to mouth interaction. Maybe drinking water provides a feeling of being "full" or satisfaction which some how works against the idea of cravings. Again, lots of people stand by this tried and true quitting technique. Who am I'm to argue with them. They’re the ones in the trenches fighting their own personal cigarette withdrawal cravings, not me.

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