Smoking is a harmful habit that can raise your risk of heart attack and stroke. If you smoke regularly for a long time, your body will become addicted to nicotine, and you will feel a strong urge to smoke when you try to kick the habit.
Overcoming the urge to smoke is a difficult task, but it can be done if you follow these strategies:
Anticipate situations that may trigger the urge to smoke
Certain circumstances, such as stress, boredom, nervousness, depression, seeing someone else smoking, and socializing, may cause you to feel a stronger urge to smoke. Recognize these situations and be prepared to deal with them.
Plan how to handle situations that trigger the urge to smoke
If you are attending a social event, you should know beforehand how you will respond if someone offers you a cigarette. Plan your response according to the type of situation you will be facing.
Use behavioral skills
Behavioral coping skills, such as deep breathing, exercise, drinking water, keeping yourself occupied, and socializing with non-smokers, can help you take your mind off your cravings.
Use mental coping skills
You can mentally overcome the urge to smoke by reminding yourself why you decided to quit, considering the amount of time and effort that you have invested to kick the habit, and recalling all the harmful effects of smoking.
Know that the urge will eventually go away
The urge to smoke is particularly strong in the first days or weeks after you quit smoking. However, if you can remain smoke-free for more than a year, you will rarely feel the urge to smoke.