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How to stop craving for smoking?

Answered by
Dr. Preeti Parakh

Addiction Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 1486 Questions

Posted on Wed, 27 Nov 2013 in Smoking and Alcohol Addiction
Question: hi. recently I've been craving for smoking cigarettes. I haven't yet. How can I stop my cravings for smoking? thanks
Answered by Dr. Preeti Parakh 3 hours later
Brief Answer: Listed below. Detailed Answer: Hi, Welcome to Healthcare Magic! First of all, let me congratulate you on being able to control your craving so far. Well done! Here are some ways which can help you in coping with the difficult moments when the craving is strong: 1) Stay busy. Many people like to smoke when there is some free time in their hands and they don't know what else to do. 2) Think about something else. Since craving is like the waves in the sea, it subsides in a little while. So if you can distract yourself for the time being, you can manage to hold on. 3) Take a few slow, deep breaths. This helps relax you and releases the tension, making it easier to control the craving. 4) Go for a stroll, or just into another room. This is another way of distracting yourself. 5) Eat something or drink a glass of water when there is strong craving. 6) Talk to a friend or family member about it, who knows that you are quitting and is supportive. Craving is easier to control when you know someone is keeping an eye on you. 7) Make a list of all the reasons why you should stop smoking. When the craving is strong, look back at this and remind yourself of your reasons for stopping. 8) Avoid being in the company of people who are smoking. Seeing others smoke or inhaling their exhaled smoke is a strong cue that induces craving. 9) If there are places/ articles of furniture etc that have become associated with smoking, avoid them. For example, there may be certain corners in the office/home where you used to smoke or there may be an armchair which was your favorite place to enjoy a smoke. If so, avoid these or make some changes that can break the association. If you unable to control your craving in spite of these methods, there is the option of using some nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products or other medicines that can control your craving. Bupropion and varenicline are two such medicines which are very effective. I hope this helps you. Please feel free to ask in case you want any clarifications. Wishing you success in your efforts, Dr Preeti Parakh MD Psychiatry
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Preeti Parakh 2 hours later
I thought NRT products are only for people who already smoke and are trying to quit. I don't smoke but lately I've been craving for smoke. won't NRT products make me addicted. I've been told that those contain nicotine. and they'll put nicotine in my body but there's no nicotine in my body since I've never smoked. I've been told that NRT products will make me addicted to nicotine because of this.
Answered by Dr. Preeti Parakh 44 minutes later
Brief Answer: Yes, you are right. Detailed Answer: Hi, Yes, you are right that NRT is for people who are already smokers and are trying to quit. I had added that in the end as I was not sure from your query if you had been a smoker in the past and had been off cigarettes recently or you had never been a smoker but still having cravings. Since you do not smoke, you do not need NRT or other medicines. NRT contains nicotine and is for harm reduction in smokers. For you, the methods that I described earlier should suffice, especially the one about avoiding company of smokers. The smoke exhaled by smokers has a typical smell and is a very strong cue for inducing craving in people who originally are not smokers. Try to avoid this as much as possible. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you. Best wishes. Dr Preeti Parakh MD Psychiatry
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

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