How to Manage Craving

The urge to consume tobacco will come and go. There are people, places, things, and situations that may trigger the urge to consume tobacco. These urges are called Cravings. Craving for tobacco is normal and can sometimes be challenging to handle.  How are you going to handle it?

One way is to accept the fact that having the urge for tobacco is normal and using methods to handle it effectively without taking tobacco.


Identify Tobacco Use Triggers

Triggers are situations or things that increase your urge or craving to use tobacco. Everyone who consumes tobacco has tobacco use triggers. Knowing your triggers helps you stay in control. At first, you might want to avoid triggers all together. After staying quit for a while, you may be able to find other ways to handle your triggers. Here are some common tobacco use triggers:

  • Feeling stressed
  • Feeling sad
  • Talking on the phone
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Watching TV
  • Driving
  • Finishing a meal
  • Taking a work break
  • Seeing someone else smoke or using tobacco
  • To cool down after a fight or argument
  • Feeling lonely
  • Drinking coffee
  • A need to relax


Plan How to Handle Cravings

You won't be able to avoid all tobacco use triggers, so it is important to make a plan for how to handle cravings. Remember, cravings typically last for a few minutes. It might be uncomfortable, but try to wait it out. Make a list of things you can do to distract yourself, like:

  • Call someone. You don't have to do this alone, lean on the people you trust to distract you.
  • Wait 15 minutes. Challenge yourself to read a magazine, listen to music, chant or play your favourite game for 15 minutes. Cravings only last a few minutes!
  • Take a walk or jog. If you do not have the time, try some deep breathing. Physical activity, even in short bursts, can help to make you feel energetic and get over a craving.
  • Review your reason for quitting. Just having tobacco even once will only increase your craving and make it stronger.Get over the craving by reminding yourself why you want to be tobacco free.
  • Go to a tobacco free zone. Most public places don't allow smoking. Go to a movie, a park, or any other tobacco free public place where you're forced not to use tobacco.
  • Calculate your savings. Tobacco products are expensive. Add up all the money you're saving and decide what you're going to buy with it.
  • Keep your mouth busy.Keep saunf, laung or elaichiin your mouth. Buy chewing gum instead of a tobacco product, or keep hard candy with you. Drinking water also works!
  • Do something else. When a craving hits, stop what you're doing immediately and do something else. Simply changing your routine can help you shake off a craving.
  • Take deep breaths. Breathe through your craving by inhaling (through your nose) and exhaling (through your mouth). Repeat this 10 times or until you're feeling more relaxed. Yoga or pranayam can help you get over the craving.


Cravings will come and go. Craving lasts only a few days / weeks. Remember, trying something to fight the urge to consume tobacco is always better than not trying anything. Do what works best for you when a craving hits. Just don't use tobacco. Not even once!

  • PUBLISHED DATE : Nov 18, 2015
  • PUBLISHED BY : Zahid
  • LAST UPDATED ON : Jan 07, 2016