Tobacco craving has been a problem among thousands of people across the country for several years. Tobacco is one of the most prominent habit-forming elements on the planet. It is also the cause of some of the deadliest diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and chronic bronchitis. As a result, many healthcare volunteers and nonprofit organizations work toward helping people reduce tobacco usage. Some valuable ways to resist tobacco cravings include:
Actively avoiding the triggers
Generally, tobacco cravings are at their peak during certain times of the day. For instance, one may tend to use tobacco when sipping a glass of coffee in the morning, exiting the bathroom after a shower, or when stressed. Similarly, people may experience severe cravings at places where they often consume tobacco in its various forms, such as parties or quiet parks. Individuals must plan to pre-emptively identify such triggers and devise strategies to either avoid them or get through them unscathed.
Certain handy tricks help avoid cravings. For example, if one has a habit of using tobacco products while watching movies or TV series, they can hold a pen and paper and note down the key plot points of the content they are watching. In this way, their minds and bodies will stay distracted and clear of tobacco for longer. Over time, one will find it easier to avoid the habit for longer periods.
Using the delay tactic
The delay tactic helps people reduce their cravings little by little every day until they eventually let go. As per the strategy, one must constantly remind oneself that they will consume tobacco “15 minutes later” when they feel the irresistible urge at any given moment. Then, after 15 minutes, they must do the same thing and thus delay using tobacco products. The tactic may seem flimsy, but it is beneficial. Following this strategy requires mental resilience and willpower, both of which people will need to build with time.
Opting for nicotine replacement therapy
Many people who are aware of their tobacco cravings and are fully willing to let go sometimes do not find the right means or expertise to help them achieve this objective. Such individuals can consult their nearest healthcare provider to check whether they provide nicotine replacement therapy. This treatment helps people gradually overcome their cravings and live healthier lives. Embattled clients are recommended to use particular nasal sprays and inhalers when they have the urge to use tobacco. These sprays and inhalers have some amount of nicotine but not the other harmful chemicals present in tobacco products.
Chewing one’s way out of urges
Chewing on sugarless gum is a viable way to keep tobacco cravings away for a while. Individuals can also chew carrots, cucumbers, hard candy, sugarless gum, sunflower seeds, celery, nuts, strawberries, or anything else they like. The urge to consume tobacco often arises when the mouth is dry and empty. Filling it with these foods and keeping the mouth busy for perpetuity helps reduce the possibility of cravings. However, one must be careful about what they consume during this phase. Experts recommend avoiding foods or gums heavy in sugar or trans fats as they can lead to several health conditions.
Performing physical activities
Exercise is one of the best ways to keep tobacco or any other kinds of cravings at bay. It helps distract people from cravings or at least reduces their intensity. One does not need to join the gym to achieve this objective. People can do simple exercises like running up and down the stairs a few times, try a few squats, do deep knee bends, go out for a jog, or plan a short, refreshing swim in a nearby swimming pool or lake. Physical activity keeps the mind busy and saturated, leaving no space for tobacco cravings.
Individuals who want to try something other than exercise can consider woodwork, journaling, needlework, or painting. Such creative hobbies tend to stifle unwanted urges. People can also try mundane work like filing paperwork or vacuuming. As a result, one can complete household chores in time while staying active.
Practicing relaxation techniques
In most cases, people turn to tobacco because they feel stressed or anxious. Tobacco products present people with a much-needed escape route from their mental health issues. However, this must be avoided. Those prone to stress and anxiety must meditate and perform other relaxation techniques to calm their minds. Simple, rhythmic breathing exercises often prove the best stressbusters for any situation. By doing stress-busting exercises, people can drastically reduce their chances of turning to tobacco to ease stress.
Eliminating the “just one more” thought
Many prone to tobacco cravings tell themselves that this is the last time they are giving in to their urges and promise to stop. However, that does not happen. One leads to another, and the habit never breaks. Instead of saying, “just one more,” one must put an end to their cravings right away and never look back.
Distracting oneself from tobacco cravings
Distraction is essential to getting over any kind of avoidable habit. One can join a sports club, watch TV, read books, or get into an active relationship to keep one’s mind distracted and away from tobacco usage. Distraction seems easy but can be a complex skill to master.
Another way to keep tobacco cravings at bay is by reminding oneself of the benefits. Research shows that avoiding tobacco improves health in the long term and keeps several illnesses at bay. It also increases life expectancy. One can consult an expert if they want to give up tobacco usage but cannot achieve this objective even after trying the tips mentioned here. The expert can devise a custom strategy to reduce cravings and eliminate the habit.