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Conquering the Urge to Smoke

        Health | Smoking Cessation

Conquering the Urge to Smoke (<i>cont'd</i>)

"Whenever I felt the urge to put a cigarette in my mouth I would chew on a straw."

To help beat the urge, I always had straws in my car, at work and home. Whenever I felt the urge to put a cigarette in my mouth I would chew on a straw. I also had a supply of mints and gum. To curb the urge when driving I always would put two mints in my mouth when I got into my car, like lighting up. To this day, I out of an old habit have gained a new one of having two mints every time I enter my car. Suckers and sunflower seeds always seemed to help that first month of withdrawal." — Sujean W.

"I'd pop a handful of 'Red Hots' in my mouth."

"Actually, I only gave up one cigarette: the next one. During the process of quitting, I carried an open pack of cigarettes and a lighter. The easy access to my addiction eliminated any sense of panic. Whenever I felt the need to smoke, I'd pop a handful of 'Red Hots' in my mouth, suck on the candy till my mouth burned, oxygenate my lungs with a couple of deep breaths, and mutter, 'later.' Well, 'later' has now extended beyond sixteen years and as much as I enjoyed smoking, I enjoy not smoking much more." — Jack H.

"Waiting my way through a cigarette craving caused that craving to subside."

Waiting my way through a cigarette craving, caused that craving to subside. If I had a terrible craving, and just waited about 15-20 minutes, eventually that craving would go away. (Or perhaps by then my mind was on something else completely, so my mind was no longer on wanting/needing to smoke.)" — Mary

"I found a cigarette that was filter all the way through."

I quit smoking after 30 years, approximately four and one half years ago. I had tried many smoking cessation programs prior to this with only short-term success. I credit three things for finally helping me kick the habit. The first was that my doctor prescribed the anti-anxiety drug Lorazepam (Ativan) .5 mg twice daily. They now have Zyban, but many people I talked to don't find it very helpful. I found the Ativan helped me cope with that sense of loss/abandonment that had sabotaged previous cessation attempts.

"The second was that I found a cigarette that was filter all the way through. Whenever I found myself in a social situation that had formerly triggered lighting up, I would go through the motions of inhaling and exhaling using the phony cigarette. Deep breathing does not do it. You have to do the breathing exactly as if you were smoking a cigarette. Even now when I feel like one I do the breathing thing without the phony prop. The third was that I took a brisk walk for two miles daily. That helped ease a lot of the stress that triggered my smoking." — Anita R.

"I started eating sugar-free jelly beans."

After I stopped I started eating sugar-free jelly beans. I carried them in my pockets, in my purse, in the console of my truck, in my desk drawer, etc. — just everywhere. I ate them constantly for about four months and still now today I have to have something in my mouth all the time. But I keep mints handy now, and I didn't realize until I stopped smoking how easy they are to get. They are at almost all check-out counters." — D.H.

"...whenever I felt the need for a cigarette, [I would] count to 90."

"My physician informed me that a craving lasts only approximately 90-100 seconds, and whenever I felt the need for a cigarette, count to 90, no matter where I was, silently or out loud. I did this for three months and would literally count out loud in some circumstances. My physician was right — after 90-100 seconds, the craving was gone. Something about the counting gave me subconscious strength." — Donna E.


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