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What to do when you’re craving a ciggie RIGHT NOW!

First of all, remain calm. You can do this! Don’t let the cigarettes control you – show them who’s boss!

Follow this guide to make sure you don’t fall off the wagon.

1. Chill out

Put some calming tunes on and (try to) relax. Find your happy place – a place free of smoke and anything that reminds you of smoking. Get rid of any ashtrays and lighters if you haven’t already, and grab some candles or an air freshener to cover up the smell of smoke.

2. Find someone or something to distract you

Try online shopping, cook a healthy meal for dinner or call a friend. Do something to occupy those crucial minutes and keep yourself busy.

3. Keep your hands busy

Flip a coin, squeeze a stress ball, grab a water bottle, pat your pooch or pick up a pen and start doodling.

4. Put something else in your mouth – not a cigarette!

Think gum or lozenge, sip some water or eat a healthy snack like nuts or fruit. If all these don’t work, try brushing your teeth. You will feel fresh and clean and hopefully the cravings will have passed once you’re done.

5. Get outside

If you are feeling a bit edgy or stressed and can’t relax, go for a brisk stroll around the block. Or do another form of exercise if walking isn’t your thing. Make it something you enjoy like yoga, rock climbing or boxing. Grab a mate so you can spot each other and keep your mind off the smokes.

6. Plan ahead

If you know you’ll be craving a cigarette at a certain time, place or in a situation, prepare yourself and change up your usual routine. Consider using a faster-acting type of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) like mouth spray, gum, lozenge or inhalator a few minutes before you think a craving is going to hit. Did you know that combination therapy – using nicotine patches with a faster-acting typet – is one of the most effective quitting methods? 

7. If all else fails

Give Quitline (13 7848) a call, our expert Quitline counsellors are trained to support you through this. You can request a Quitline callback if you prefer. 

Last updated June 2022.

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