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What to do when you’re having a craving

When cravings strike, stay calm and remind yourself that cigarettes or vapes don’t control you.

Cravings can come crashing down on you, sometimes without warning. But they also only last a matter of minutes. Here are some tips to help you wait them out.

Follow these steps and try your best not to give in. You can do this.

1. Chill out

Play your favourite tunes and try to relax. Find your happy place – a place free of anything that reminds you of smoking or vaping. Get rid of any ashtrays, lighters or vape accessories if you haven’t already.  Open windows or use an air purifier to freshen the air inside your home.

2. Find someone or something to distract you

Try cooking a healthy meal, going for a walk or calling a friend. Do something to occupy those crucial minutes and keep busy. Use our Distract Me tool for quick distractions.

3. Keep your hands busy

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

4. Eat a healthy snack, or brush your teeth!

Sip some water or eat a healthy snack like a handful of nuts or fresh fruit (an orange works well) or veg. If this doesn't work, try brushing your teeth. You will feel fresh and clean and it's likely the cravings will have passed once you’re done.

5. Get outside

If you’re struggling to 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 chat and keep your mind off your craving.

6. Plan ahead

If you know you’ll be craving a cigarette or vape at a certain time, place or situation, prepare yourself and change up your usual routine. It's also a good idea to talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They can advise if any medications are appropriate to help you stop smoking or vaping.

7. The 4Ds

The 4Ds is an easy way to remember what to do when you're having a craving:

  • Delay acting on the craving for at least five minutes, the urge to smoke or vape will pass.

  • Deep breathe, slowly and deeply.

  • Do something else to keep your hands busy.

  • Drink water to take ‘time out’, sip slowly.

8. Reach out to Quitline

Our Quitline counsellors are qualified in helping people to stop smoking or vaping, and have plenty of great ideas to support you through your quitting journey. Quitline counsellors can also support you if you are using vapes to stop smoking.

There are many ways to contact Quitline 13 7848, including webchat, Messenger, WhatsApp and more:

Or, ask Quitline to call you back for free using the online form: Request a callback

Please note,this information is for general use only.  Please consult your health professional for further advice.  

If you would like to provide feedback, please contact 

Last updated February 2024

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