Arizona Smokers’ Helpline

How to Stop Smoking Cravings

Fighting nicotine cravings can be very hard, especially when you’re trying to quit smoking. You might not even realize that a certain routine is connected with your tobacco use until you try to quit or cut back.

Here are ideas to help you fight some of the most common smoking triggers.

The Most Common Smoking Triggers


Caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea, soda or energy drinks can trigger tobacco cravings in some people.

What to do instead:

  • Drink decaf coffee or herbal teas.
  • Try drinking coffee at a different time, like waiting until you get to work.
  • Eat a healthy snack or play with a pen or pencil to keep your hands and mouth busy.
Being Around Smoking

It can be hard to spend time with other smokers without giving in, especially with close friends.

What to do instead:

  • Remember that good friends will respect that you’re doing this for yourself and will want to support you.
  • During a work break, do something else. Go for a walk around the building or look at a magazine.
  • Keep gum or mints with you for when you’re having a craving.
Talking on the Phone

Sometimes cravings can hit when you talk with certain people or about certain things.

What to do instead:

  • Keep a pen and paper nearby for doodling.
  • Hold the phone with the hand you used to smoke with.
  • Walk around the room while you talk.
  • Have a drinking straw or a breath mint for your mouth.

Drinking alcohol can make it easier to give in to cravings because alcohol lowers your inhibitions.

What to do instead:

  • In your first 2 weeks, drink flavored or seltzer water, diet tonic water or juices instead of alcohol.
  • For a little while, only drink with friends who don’t smoke.
  • Tell your friends that you’re quitting—not to give you tobacco or alcohol, even if you ask.
Being at Home

For some people, just being at home can be a trigger to want to smoke or chew because it’s a reminder of an old routine.

What to do instead:

  • If you live with other smokers, ask them to smoke outside.
  • Get rid of all of your ashtrays, lighters and anything you use to smoke. If you haven’t quit yet, make sure these things stay outside.
  • Clean your house and let in fresh air. Your house will feel better.
  • When you want to go outside to smoke, try doing something else first.

Call 1-800-55-66-222 to get started.

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