Cravings are short but intense urges to smoke. Former smokers can still feel cravings after months and even years of not smoking. When a craving hits, it usually only lasts between 3 and 5 minutes. Since you won’t always be able to avoid a trigger, the trick is to have a plan to ride out the craving until it passes. Make a list of ways to beat cravings using the 4 Ds strategy: Delay, Distract, Deep breaths, Drink water.