5 Easy Ways To Combat Tobacco Cravings

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Quitting tobacco is a complex and lengthy process, but staying tobacco-free is even more challenging. Nicotine causes dependence; your system develops a need for a certain amount of it at all times. To maintain this level, you have to keep smoking or chewing tobacco to avoid withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, and headache.

When trying to quit smoking, nicotine poses the biggest challenge. The longer you smoke (and the bigger the number of cigars you use daily), the higher the cravings you experience when you try to quit.

Fortunately, tobacco cravings diminish if you find a way to resist them and ultimately quit nicotine dependence. Here are some of the ways you can use to combat tobacco cravings:

Alternative Therapies

Some people find alternative therapies helpful when trying to quit smoking. These alternative methods that may help you combat tobacco cravings include:

Herbal cigarettes

The rise of herbal cigarettes has eliminated many health risks that are related to smoking. It constitutes a natural herbal mix that is free of nicotine and is not addictive. And because they are not addictive, they provide a great option if you wish to quit smoking. Herbal cigarettes allow users to draw the pleasures of smoking without getting hooked on them.


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Although e-cig is not sold as a quit smoking aid, many people use them to quit smoking. Studies have shown that they are less addictive than regular cigarettes. Widespread use of e-cigarettes has also been linked with a significant rise in smoking cessation. In addition, smokers using e-cigs are more likely to stop smoking than those using regular cigars.

Seek Support

Overcoming physical and emotional dependence on nicotine is a mountain of a challenge after you decide to quit smoking. Seeking counselling services, support services, and self-help material is helpful in this challenging period.

A study indicates that behavioral support increases the chance of smoking cessation by up to 25%. Behavioral support may include written materials, group therapy, and individual counselling.

Institutions like  National Cancer Institute(NCI) offer immense support services to anyone who needs help to quit smoking. These support services can include:

Use NRTs

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Going cold turkey is one of the most popular way of smoking cessation. However, because of the strong nicotine dependence, only 6% of those who attempt to quit smoking are successful.

Using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) helps decrease cravings and withdrawal symptoms when you quit smoking. NRTs are designed to help one stop smoking through controlled quantities of nicotine supply and inhibiting exposure to other chemical compounds found in tobacco.

FDA has approved the following types of NRTs:

  • Lozenges
  • Inhalers
  • Skin patches
  • Nasal spray
  • Chewing gum

If you decide to use NRTs, ensure you consult your physician about the dosage. While they are helpful in smoking cessation, the goal is to wipe out nicotine in your system, not just quitting tobacco use. Also, seek immediate medical attention if you experience dizziness, fast heartbeat, nausea, and skin swellings.

Use Non-nicotine Medications

FDA has authorized the use of two non-nicotine medications to help smokers give up tobacco smoking. These drugs are bupropion and varenicline. If you opt to use any of these drugs, talk to your doctor as you’ll need a correct prescription.

Bupropion plays a significant role in reducing cravings for tobacco and nicotine withdrawal symptoms. This medication is ingested in tablet form for up to 12 weeks. However, if you successfully stop smoking during this period, you can continue using for a further 3 to 6 months to minimize smoking relapse.

Varenicline drugs act on nicotinic receptors in the brain, which tamper with the pleasures you get from tobacco consumption and reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms. It is also used for 12 weeks, but if you successfully quit the habit within this time, you can use it for a further 12 weeks to avoid the risk of relapse.

However, you might experience some side effects from these drugs, such as depressed mood, suicidal thoughts, aggression, and behavioral changes.

Avoid Temptations

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Those situations encourage one to smoke, think about such situations, and try as much as possible to avoid them. For instance, you may have to consider avoiding the company of friends who are smokers.

Instead, try to engage yourself in activities that you are interested in, like watching your favorite movie, going shopping in a mall, and keeping the company of non-smokers. This way, you’ll start dissociating smoking with fun.

Also, you can distract yourself from cigarettes by keeping your hands and mouth busy. You can chew free-sugar gum, hold a stress ball, and knitting.


Smoking cessation is not an easy task because nicotine is such a potent chemical substance and is hard to eliminate from the system. However, there are many ways you can use to combat the urge for tobacco, like using NRTs and seeking support services. You can also try to use herbal cigarettes as they are nicotine-free.

Additional Resources:


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What is NRT?

Using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) helps decrease cravings and withdrawal symptoms when you quit smoking. NRTs are designed to help one stop smoking through controlled quantities of nicotine supply and inhibiting exposure to other chemical compounds found in tobacco.

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