Lifestyles Center Blog

SURVIVOR SERIES: RESISTING TOBACCO CRAVINGS

As of January 1 2015, SUNY Oswego’s campus will be going tobacco-free. If you currently chew or smoke tobacco, now would be a great time to consider quitting. We know that quitting isn’t easy. The cravings for tobacco can be very intense, but every time you resist a craving you get closer to getting rid of tobacco altogether. If you’re ready to quit, here are some ways to resist the cravings and avoid the urge to smoke:

1) Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) – nicotine inhaler, nasal spray, patches, gum and lozenges, and medications: The spray and inhaler are available by prescriptions. Also, medications that can help such as bupropion and varencicline require a prescription as well. You can talk to your doctor about your interest in quitting and get a prescription for those. Otherwise, patches, gum and lozenges are available over the counter.

2) Avoid triggers – places where you smoked or chewed, stressors, seeing others smoke: When trying to resist tobacco, identify trigger situations. From there set up a plan that will help you avoid them or alternative ways to deal with them. For example, if you usually smoked while you talked on the phone, for instance, draw or write to keep your self busy while on the phone.

3) Delay your craving with simple tasks for a few minutes: Force yourself to wait a certain amount of time when having a craving. Do something for that period and it may just trick or distract you enough to derail the craving. Keep repeating the process until the craving has passed.

4) Chew on it – Give your mouth something else to do: You can chew on a variety of things such as sugarless gum, hard candy, raw carrots, celery, nuts or sunflower seeds.

5) Avoid having “just one” to satisfy a craving: It is very unlikely that you will stop at just one. It can lead to more and more, and end up with you having a full addiction again.

6) Have a support system who can be there during cravings: You can reach out to them when needed by talking or going on a walk. Having

To get started on quitting, you can get a Quit Kit from the Lifestyles Center!

If you are interested in more resources, contact the Lifestyles Center, Mary Walker Health Center or the Counseling Center.

Remember, it is never too late to start!

Nicole Montera, Peer Educator