Freedom's Best Crave Coping Tips !

Subconscious use cue extinguishment
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:12

22 Apr 2001, 19:35 #21

The most practical thing for me at first was to drink lots of water whenever a craving struck. I used to almost chain-smoke while sitting at the pc, so drinking water helped a lot when I was glued to this site in the first couple of weeks!

Now I'm starting to exercise again, and that feels so good that just thinking about it makes me more determined to never take another puff. Running up the stairs is also a good one - to remind me that I couldn't do that without being severely out of breath when smoking.

Fee - 1 month, 1 week, 1 day

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

22 Apr 2001, 21:59 #22

Best tips:
1. Go for a brisk walk and imagine the oxygen cleaning out all the **** that you put in....sort of like a vacuum cleaner.
2. Clean your teeth with a flavoured toothpick.
3. Go to the zoo and watch the animals - they sure as heck don't need to smoke.
4. meditate with a mantra: I will not smoke today....over and over till you calm down.
3 weeks, 2 days, 14 hours, 41 minutes
236 cigarettes not smoked!!!
19 hours, 40 minutes of life SAVED and put to better use

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:00

26 Apr 2001, 02:43 #23

I really liked what Zep had to say, so I'm bringing this back up to the top for the newer folks especailly. Please post what is working for YOU.

Sarita @ 2 months, 2 Weeks & 6 Days

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:13

26 Apr 2001, 04:48 #24

Memories (horrible ones) of my 72 hour withdrawal period keeps me from ever taking another puff. Don't get me wrong - I do think about them once in a while - like it's weird to not go home, reach for the phone and light up - but I can't .....just can't go through those hellish 3 days ever again and that keeps me clean!

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

12 May 2001, 11:02 #25

I've been very lucky with my cravings, but the couple of really bad times, I posted to the board immediately, had a good whinge, a good cry, felt sorry for myself, read the replies, another good cry and the world was a much better place!

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:41

17 May 2001, 13:16 #26

For the folks posting that they are having a rough time with craves I wanted to take this back to the top. Zep wrote something on this thread, that really helped me immensly. Sorry but i don't have cut and paste capabilities here. If the craves are driving you up the wall check it out. One thing I know without a doubt is that all craves eventually end if we NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!

Julia @ 3 Months, 1 Week & 5 Days
Last edited by Sarita (Bronze) on 16 Mar 2009, 20:42, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:12

11 Jan 2002, 11:56 #27


Thanks for the suggestion to read (and read some more)! These were great .... and they helped me get to GREEN! Gee ... I must be excited ... I keep telling everyone.

Thankful to be here and vow to get through this day without taking a puff.

wannalife is proud to say .... free and clean and nicotineless for 1M 2D 1m 20 s; 660 cigs. not smoked ... $132.00 saved Time to go shopping!

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

13 Jan 2002, 00:30 #28

From: OBob (Original Message) Sent: 1/12/2002 12:02 AM
I'm discovering that one of the joys of leaving smoking behind is that we find that

1) Smoking was never really a source of relaxation, but actually only a prop to keep us from having to face withdrawal.

2) There are a few hundred different healthy ways to relax that many of us ignored during the years we smoked. Some are 3 minute relaxation fixes and others are full-day fixes. What they have in common is that they promote REAL relaxation; not postponement of withdrawal.

Here are some rewarding alternatives that I've discovered:
  • hot, steamy shower/bath
  • similarly, hot tub, sauna, steam room
  • a walk around the block
  • standing in my back yard watching the birds or the clouds
  • walking on the beach -- I can smell seaweed again
  • backrubs (if you've got an obliging partner, give it a go)
  • lifting weights
I'd be curious what other ways y'all are discovering now that you're not administering nicotine any more....

Last edited by Joel on 18 Feb 2014, 13:45, edited 2 times in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

13 Jan 2002, 00:33 #29

Quit Smoking Tip Sheet[/size]

  1. Quit cold turkey. In the long run it's the easiest and most effective technique of smoking cessation.[/size]
  2. Do not carry cigarettes.[/size]
  3. Quit smoking one day at a time. Do not concern yourself with next year, next month, next week or even tomorrow. Concentrate on not smoking from the time you wake up until you go to sleep.[/size]
  4. Work on developing the attitude that you are doing yourself a favor by not smoking. Do not dwell on the idea that you are depriving yourself of a cigarette. You are ridding yourself full fledged smoking because you care enough about yourself to want to.[/size]
  5. Be proud that you are not smoking.[/size]
  6. Be aware that many routine situations will trigger the urge for a cigarette. Situations which will trigger a response include: drinking coffee, alcohol, sitting in a bar, social events with smoking friends, card games, the end of meals. Try to maintain your normal routine while quitting. If any event seems to tough, leave it and go back to it later. Do not feel you must give up any activity forever. Everything you did as a smoker, you will learn to do at least as well, and maybe better, as an ex-smoker.[/size]
  7. Make a list of all the reasons you want to quit smoking. Keep this list with you, preferably where you used to carry your cigarettes. When you find yourself reaching for a cigarette, take out your list and read it.[/size]
  8. Drink plenty of fruit juice the first three days. It will help flush nicotine out of your system.[/size]
  9. To help avoid weight gain, eat vegetables and fruit instead of candies and pastries. Celery and carrots can be used safely as short-term substitutes for cigarettes.[/size]
  10. If you are concerned about weight gain, do some moderate form of regular exercise. If you have not been exercising regularly, consult your physician for a practical exercise program which is safe for you.[/size]
  11. If you encounter a crisis, (e.g. a flat tire, flood, blizzard, family illness) while quitting, remember, smoking is no solution. Smoking will just complicate the original situation while creating another crisis, a relapse into the nicotine addiction.[/size]
  12. Consider yourself a "smoke-a-holic." One puff and you can become hooked again. No matter how long you have been off, don't think you can safely take a puff![/size]
  13. Don't debate with yourself how much you want a cigarette. Ask yourself how do you feel about going back to your old level of consumption. Smoking is an all or nothing proposition.[/size]
  14. Save the money you usually spend on cigarettes and buy yourself something you really want after a week or a month. Save for a year and you can treat yourself to a vacation.[/size]
  15. Practice deep breathing exercises when you have a craving.[/size]
  16. Go places where you normally can't smoke, such as movies, libraries and no smoking sections of restaurants.[/size]
  17. Tell people around you that you have quit smoking.[/size]
  18. Remember that there are only two good reasons to take a puff once you quit. You decide you want to go back to your old level of consumption until smoking cripples and then kills you, or, you decide you really enjoy withdrawal and you want to make it last forever. As long as neither of these options appeal to you-never take another puff![/size]

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

22 Jan 2002, 12:14 #30

Lots of wonderful stress breakers and aids here Jay Girl!
Also slow deep deep breathing while you clear your mind of all needless chatter and relax as you focus your concentration on your favorite color, object or person. Just a simple break from everything the underlying current of anxiety that many feel during early withdrawal. Cold water too !!!! You're doing great!

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:10

22 Jan 2002, 13:47 #31

If all else fails, I just hold on until it's time to go to bed. Once in bed and sleeping I don't have anything to worry about because that is 8 hours of not smoking in the bag, no problem!!! Didn't even have to try to not smoke for that 8 hours.

Good Times

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:41

23 Jan 2002, 22:06 #32

Thank you for the tip John. I feel so good! Today is day 7. I have never had such resolve about anything in my life. I believe the reason is, I feel I am saving my life --- Literally. I am really looking so forward to the day that cigs do not pop into my head every 30 minutes. But the crave only last a minute. I have been taking deep breaths and blowing the hair out my mouth. This seems to always work. Hang in there everyone, and never take another puff. Have a great smoke free day.

Jay Girl

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

24 Jan 2002, 14:24 #33

Aha! I wondered what ever happened to my little list of relaxation / crave coping techniques. Knew it must have gotten moved, but never knew where to until now. ANYhoo, I'll add the following:

Sometimes a crave can become worse when I let it frighten me. If I turn away from it, and fear it's power. Because, at the end of the day, I think when you do this, you give power to the crave. A crave often ISN'T really that powerful, if you have the courage to stare it down.

Acknowledge it. Set it down in front of you. Ask yourself, what is this really? Do I really CRAVE a cigarette? Or is this just anxiety, and I remember how anxiety used to cause my nicotine level to drop, and how feeding my body more nicotine used to offset the withdrawals? How long is this lasting? Heck, count the seconds. I still feeling like I was 30 seconds ago? Is it better? Worse? If I simply denied it, would it still be here in 5 minutes? How strong is it? If I rate this feeling, at this second, how does it compare with the one I had yesterday at 2pm on a 1-10 scale? How many 10s have I had over the past 24 hours. What other answers can I come up with to deal with this anxiety attack, if that's what it is?

What I tend to discover is that it's not as bad as my junky wants to pretend it is. It doesn't last as long as my junky wants to pretend it's going to. And, when I really think about it, I DON'T WANT TO SMOKE; but my junky remembers that that alleviated a different kind of anxiety before, and hasn't learned that anxiety comes from all different types of places (not just nicotine withdrawal), and that there are other ways to deal with this anxiety.

Nicotine's effect on withdrawal is like the effect you have when you put a large log on a campfire. When you first put the log on, the fire dims, and smolders. But a few minutes later, it's raging again. Logs don't put out fires -- they feed them -- ditto nicotine and withdrawal.

Okay, enough of this. I can see I'm starting to go off on tangents again....

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

21 Feb 2002, 12:02 #34

for our earlier where someone suggested toothpicks. Toothpicks are the leading cause of choking. careful!!

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

13 Mar 2002, 05:31 #35

As I have stated in a couple of my posts my quit this time has been very easy for me. I did have some cravings but not the ones I had anticipated prior in my mind. None the less I did have cravings but not as many or not as intense as most experience. A few come to my mind, mostly within the first week or so that were intense enough for me to remember.

Getting to the point, (something I haven't mastered my whole life) I would use my mind to create an atmosphere that was pleasant for me, where I never smoked. In my mind I would re-live that experience from the start to however long my crave went. My favorite pastime is Fly Fishing for Steelhead. These fish can exceed 20-30 pounds. They are nothing but rainbow trout that migrate to the ocean after a couple years in the rivers and spend 2 or 3 years in the ocean and come back to the rivers to spawn. Since I know exactly how these fish take a fly, I would imagine my line shooting out in the current, mending the line once and steering my line through the drift. Towards the end of the drift as the fly starts to slow and just kind of hang there I feel the tug of a fish taking the fly. This can be as gentle as could be or very aggressive. My line would tighten and this large fish would drift to the surface, not sure what was happening to it. As it realized it was not free anymore it would begin its struggle to set itself free. There is nothing in the world that compares to the fight of one of these fish. I would feel every run, visualize every jump and splash. To land one of these fish usually takes between 15 and 30 minutes or so. I visualized landing this creature and slipping the hook from its mouth. I would admire its beauty and let it slip from my hand back into the depths of the river where it emerged from.

This type of mental relaxation worked for me every time. Possibly it may help someone the same as me. Let me know sometime.


Loving my quit more and more each passing day.

I have chosen not to smoke for
2 Months 1 Week 5 Days 13 Hours 29 Minutes 57 Seconds.
Cigarettes not smoked: 2862. Money saved: $466.59.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

13 Mar 2002, 08:42 #36

I find I can kind of 'relax' into a crave - don't quite know how to describe it...kind of like smiling right in it's face!! Maybe I should try that fishing one - this is for Roger and John..
2 Months 1 Week 4 Days 20 Hours 9 Minutes 54 Seconds.
Money saved NZ$1,505.35. Cigarettes not smoked 3542. Self esteem 100%
Last edited by murphying (Gold) on 16 Mar 2009, 20:49, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 19 Mar 2002, 08:00

23 Mar 2002, 08:57 #37

This is for Jebels, and since I am here I will post my favorite tips also...

I am still 'forgetting' I quit... It usually only takes a reminder to myself (and I make sure this reminder does not become a debate, I keep it an affirmation!)

If a quick reminder does not work, I go outside and scream as loud as I can for as long as I can and when I am done I feel out of breath, light headed and my throat is sore... just like if I had smoked a cigarette! Of course this is without any of the long term effects. (I live in the country where no one will call the police because of blood curdling screams coming from a neighbors house every 30 minutes or so : ).

One of my favorite ways to deal with a crave is to take a deep whiff off my clothes and smell the springy freshness... (this is not quite as noticeable to the neighbors, and does not wear a person out after the fourth or fifth time in a day!) (I read this off another post and thought it was a great idea!)

Last edited by NevadaGal Gold on 18 Feb 2014, 13:51, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:40

23 Mar 2002, 09:17 #38

I just incorporated a new technique yesterday that really seems to help me. When I'm driving and see another smoker which I now seem so much more aware of, I take a deep breath and say "Ahhhh much better" The fresh air, even if I'm behind a bus is so much better than the carbon monoxide. nicotine and all the other garbage I was putting in before. Simple but effective for me.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

12 Jun 2002, 01:50 #39

This may seem a little strange but when I start getting a little crave I remember
a insentdent that I witnessed when I was 1 week smoke free; My wife and I were
sitting in a resturant in the no smoking section. I looked out the window and across the street is a sandwich shop. As I was looking a young women came out looking like she worked there. (she had on an apron) She proceeded to light up a smoke.
She must have stood out there for 5min. when a person I think was her boss comes out and pointed at the cigerette talking too her. She throws down the smoke and angrly starts walking back into the building!
Her boss pointed at her and then at the ground said something to her, then she bent over and picked up her butt she threw down by the door, and walked inside.
About 15 minutes she came back out and had her jacket on with her purse in her hand and walked off mad!
I told my wife she probely got fired for smoking on the job. Thats when I told my wife how insane it was to do that when you know its against the rules! She looked at me and said "Theres no doubt in my mind, that would have been you a week ago!"
I looked at her and smiled! What I wouldn't do to feed my addiction!!

I have chosen not to smoke for 1 Month 1 Week 3 Hours 38 Minutes 7 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 2403. Money saved: $359.33.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:02

12 Jun 2002, 02:38 #40

Hi John...

My Techniques for Coping when that Crave Comes Along???

O.K... Here we go...

Rub-offs like Crosswords, Crossword Puzzles, Playing games in the internet, bingo, any kind of game to keep my mind off of things...

Watching TV... Always Deverts my mind...


(7+ weeks)
Last edited by Slycat on 18 Feb 2014, 13:53, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

23 Sep 2002, 12:14 #41


The best tip I have so far to cope with cravings is to write about it and read post and articles that make you understand how the addiction works and the symptoms and so on.

But when I cannot read or write, I try using my mind as time machine: I go back and forward in time.


See you
Quit for: 3 Days 14 Hours 43 Minutes 36 Seconds. I have NOT smoked 65 cigarettes, for a savings of €16.65. Life Saved: 5 Hours 25 Minutes.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

30 Sep 2002, 14:52 #42

This is really the core of success in quitting smoking:

Never take another puff!!

It looks too simple, but it is the only rule that will allow you to beat nicotine addiction.

Yesterday I was in Paris, beautiful city in its complex architecture. I was going to enter in that bistrot and have a drink just before getting on the bus. The bistrot was populated by smokers of any kind: cigarettes, cigars or pipe.
My first reaction was: I am not going in there!
Then I decide to sit at a table outside the bistrot.

I was still a bit concerned by all the smokers inside and outside the bistrot. Ordered a soft drink and spend a few minutes admiring the buildings sorrounding the square.
When I left, I was to the number of cigarettes I would smoked if I was sitting at that table just a couple of weeks before.
This time I had none, even though smokers were around me.
NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF is the rule and this will set you FREE.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

16 Oct 2002, 01:27 #43

Hello Rose:

Sunflower seeds are not that particularly low in calories. One ounce worth which can easily be eaten in a serving would be 162 calories. Lets day you "treat" yourself to one serving a day at one ounce each as a kind of crutch replacement to quitting smoking. In one month you would have consumed 4,860 extra calories which will translate to almost 1.4 pounds of fat. In one year this replacement behavior if not stopped would translate to over 16 pounds of extra fat. Be careful with food as a substituted behavior, no matter how natural the food may be.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

21 Oct 2002, 05:14 #44

I still consider myself new at my quit sence Ive only been off nicotine 6 weeks, when I first stoped smoking I wasen't one who had alot of cravings ..the withdrawls were mild and now I have very,very few, Infact I cant think of any Ive had today , anyway, back to ways to get through cravings. at first when I did expereance some the best thing I did for myself was take a deep breaths and exhale slowley, it sure helped me. Billie

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

21 Oct 2002, 08:50 #45

I don't think I have ever replied to this thread. If I have or if this trick is already in here somewhere, it bears repeating anyway. My wife has a ten-year old cocker spaniel. In the early days of my quit, I would sit with the dog in my lap and rub its head.

I'm talking for hours. I purt near rubbed the hide off that old dog in the first couple of weeks. She must have liked it, though. Didn't complain much. Petting an animal is very calming. Try it for your next crave. It's also low-calorie. :-)