Quitting

Conquer cravings

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.

Using the 4Ds to conquer cravings

Delay
Here’s the big secret to beating cravings: they rarely last more than a few minutes. Wait 5 minutes when you feel the urge to smoke and the feeling will pass. Do activities to pass the time like take a shower, clean out a closet, or go for a jog.
Distract
Do something else to take your mind off of your desire to smoke. When the craving hits, stop what you’re doing immediately and do something different. And remember, you don’t have to do this alone. Call or text a friend or call one of our Quit Coaches at 1.877.455.2233.
Deep breathing
Inhale through your nose and hold it for a count of 5. Slowly breathe out through your mouth for a count of 7. Repeat a few times to reduce your cravings, stress and anxiety. Inhaling and exhaling tricks your body into feeling as though it’s already relaxed, which in turn relaxes you.
Drink water
It’s important to replace the hand to mouth behavior of smoking with another healthy activity. Drinking water will change the feeling and taste in your mouth and will actually help to reduce the cravings. Try sipping slowly, holding each sip in your mouth for a few seconds or use a drinking straw to keep your mouth busy.