It’s normal for the urge to smoke to come and go. The good news is that the sudden, strong urge to smoke, known as cravings, will only last a few minutes and then go away. They also will get further apart as time goes on. Mild cravings may last for several months. Cravings are a sign of withdrawal, which is normal and a sign that your body is detoxing and healing itself.
Practicing the Four D’s will help you get through a craving:
- Delay: Wait out the urge to smoke. It will pass in a few minutes.
- Deep Breathing: Breathe in slowly and as deeply as you can, then breathe out slowly. Repeat this five times.
- Drink Water: Sip water slowly and hold it in your mouth a little while.
- Distract: Talk to a friend, focus on the task you are doing, or get up and move around. Do something that takes your mind off smoking for a few minutes.
You can also call the Massachusetts Smokers’ Helpline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) for free coaching designed for you. Remember, you don’t have to do this alone. Lean on the people you trust to help you get through—visit, call, or text a friend.
Here are a few other tips on how to handle cravings:
- Remind yourself of the #1 reason you quit. Reviewing your reasons for quitting will help you get through short term cravings.
- Calculate your savings using our calculator. Add up all the money you’re saving and plan what you’re going to buy with it.
- Keep your mouth busy! Grab a piece of gum, try chewing on carrots, apples, celery, popcorn, mints, or straws.
If you slip or relapse, don’t be discouraged! Many people have to try multiple times before they quit for good. Read here on what to do if you slip or relapse.