Everyone is aware of the health risks involved with smoking, and many people who smoke want desperately to quit. Since nicotine cravings are very powerful, the task may seem almost impossible. Although it can be a very difficult road, there are some approaches that have been proven to be effective. Let's take a look at some of the most successful ideas.

Identify the Triggers

The Mayo Clinic has conducted extensive research on the situations that trigger the need for tobacco. In order to suppress any urges you get, the Mayo doctors recommend that you identify your triggers and how you react to them. The following suggestions can help you get started.

  • Keep a journal, jotting down when the cravings hit. Include the time of day, what you were doing at the time and who you were with. You should also analyze how you felt after you smoked. Did smoking relieve the tension or did it make you feel worse?
  • After you have pinpointed the triggers, become aware of the settings that make the cravings worse. For example, if lighting up is a habit after eating a meal, try to develop a new routine by always eating a piece of fruit or chewing a piece of gum instead. Since many people associate drinking with smoking, it may be advisable to avoid difficult situations for a while. If you do go to a party, keep your hands busy by picking up a non-alcoholic drink or chewing on a swizzle stick.
  • Seeing other people smoke is especially difficult when you are trying to quit. Share your concerns with your friends and loved ones who smoke. Ask them not to smoke around you, when it's possible. At work, take a coffee break with non-smokers, rather than your usual smoke break outside.

Try Stress-Reducing Techniques

Since smoking is a common way of reducing stress and anxiety, you'll want to find new ways to calm the nerves. Exercise is a proven stress reliever. Even a walk around the block can help to ease the cravings. Taking up a new hobby may also help to recalibrate your mind, or journaling your new life's journey may be a great outlet. Some folks find that relaxation techniques, such as deep-breathing exercises, help to reduce anxiety. Find what you enjoy and what works for you.

Try Nicotine Replacement Therapy

To help you get over the difficult cravings of nicotine withdrawal, many people find nicotine replacement therapy to be extremely helpful. It delivers nicotine without the thousands of harmful chemicals that are packed into cigarettes. The therapy is based on the concept of first helping you to stop smoking, and then slowly reducing your intake of nicotine until you get to the point where you no longer need it. There are a number of nicotine replacement options available.

  • Nicotine inhalers or nasal sprays - You will need your doctor to prescribe this. While it has been proven effective for some, others find the process invasive and uncomfortable.
  • Nicotine lozenges - You can find pleasant-tasting lozenges that you'll actually enjoy taking. Rather than grabbing for that cigarette carton, you can keep your hands and mouth busy by dissolving a lozenge in your mouth. Many people have found great success using this type of nicotine replacement therapy.
  • Nicotine patches - Patches can also work well for people, but you don't get the gratification that comes with physically putting something in your mouth when a craving hits.

If you are trying to quit smoking, there isn't one perfect way that will work for everyone. Try to identify your triggers, and find the technique that will help you conquer your cravings. Don't hesitate to ask your friends for support during the process.

Author's Bio: 

Marina Pal is a renowned author and social media enthusiast.