How to Deal with Cravings

Cravings to smoke and withdrawal symptoms are a normal, temporary part of the quitting process. Focus on the fact that these are "recovery symptoms" and they'll soon be behind you.

Remember, if you don't give in and smoke, you won't ever have to experience them again!

For these Symptoms:


The urge to smoke, strong cravings

Tell yourself that the urge will pass in three to five minutes. Distract yourself by doing something else.

Feeling irritable, tense, on edge

Take a break. Walk away from the situation. Deep breathing or a brisk walk can help.

Trouble concentrating

Break up large projects into smaller ones. Look for ways to take short breaks.

Extra energy, restlessness

Your body is rebounding. Use this extra energy for things you have been putting off.


Take a walk to get some fresh air or take a catnap.

Trouble sleeping at night

Try deep breathing and avoid drinks with caffeine.  Take a brisk walk.

Constipation and irregularity

Add fiber to your diet (fruits, vegetables, whole grains). Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily.


This is a good sign! Your lungs are working to clear themselves out. Have cough drops on hand.


Your body is adjusting to being nicotine-free. Try some deep breathing.

Hunger and craving for sweets

These reactions are normal. Drink water. Reach for a low calorie snack or low sugar sweets.

Some of the many lasting positive signs of recovery from smoking include:

  • Brighter skin
  • A better sense of taste and smell
  • Lower heart rate and blood pressure
  • More energy
  • Reduced sinus problems
  • Better circulation
  • Feelings of pride and accomplishment

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