Cravings and Withdrawal.....

When you have a craving:

  1. Say out loud "I acknowledge I am having a craving."
  2. Say out loud "A craving is just a feeling -- it is NOT a fact."
  3. Say out loud "I do not have to smoke just because I experience this thing called a craving."
  4. Say out loud "It is a proven fact that all cravings pass."
  5. Then go distract yourself until the craving passes.
Repeat OUT LOUD:
"I Could Smoke, but instead I choose to...

The Symptoms of Recovery


ANGER
Anger is part of the process. Don't try to resist it. You don't have to have a reason to feel that way, you just do. Accept it, vent it safely. Deal with the irritating situation by dealing with your feelings rather than suppressing them. Say what's on your mind without blowing your stack. Anger openly expressed or kept inside creates tension which may create the need for a cigarette. Reducing the tension will reduce your desire for a cigarette. Discuss your anger with your buddy. Take a walk. Do deep breathing exercises.

BAD BREATH
Brush your teeth more often. Drink lots of water. Your lungs need time to clean themselves as they attempt to remove the deposits of tar.

BOREDOM
Try new things. Keep your hands and mind busy. Write a letter, do dishes, cook, paint, do carpentry, knit, garden or sew. Run some errands, get caught up on jobs you haven't had time to do, or go see a movie. If you have to stay in one place, have a book, crossword puzzles or a deck of cards handy.

CONSTIPATION, GAS, STOMACH PAIN
What is the cause? -- Intestinal movement decreases for a brief period.
How Long will it last? -- 1 or 2 weeks
What can I do? -- Drink plenty of liquids (6-8 glasses of water daily); add roughage to diet (fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals, bran); go for walks.

FEELING COOPED UP
Have a good, long stretch. Then take a short walk.

COUGH, DRY THROAT/MOUTH
What is the cause? -- The body is getting rid of mucus which has blocked airways and restricted breathing.
How Long will it last? -- A few days
What can I do? -- Sip ice water, drink plenty of liquids (fruit juices, herbal tea.) Try cough drops, chewing gum, hard candy.

CRAVING FOR A CIGARETTE
What is the cause? -- Withdrawal from nicotine, a strongly addictive drug.
How Long will it last? -- It is most frequent the first 2 or 3 days. Occasionally, it can occur for months or for years.
What can I do? -- Wait out the urges; they only last a few minutes. Exercise, get busy. Drink water.

DEPRESSION
Find a substitute reward to smoking. Deal with your emotions. Call your support buddy. Use positive self-talk. Don't cut yourself down; build yourself up. Don't allow a self-defeatist attitude (I'm no good, I can't do this). This can lead to a decreased sense of control and a drop in self-esteem. Think of success, not failure! It's normal to feel sad, angry, or confused in the first few smoke-free weeks. These feelings will pass.

DIZZINESS
What is the cause? -- Body is getting extra oxygen.
How Long will it last? -- 1 or 2 days.
What can I do? -- Get fresh air, go for a walk, change positions slowly.

FATIGUE
What is the cause? -- Nicotine is a stimulant.
How Long will it last? -- 2 to 4 weeks
What can I do? -- Get extra sleep and more exercise; take naps; don't push yourself. If you feel tired when you first wake up, do some moderate exercises and take a cool shower. Drink 6-8 glasses of water per day to speed up the healing process.

FRUSTRATION
Take a walk. Do deep breathing exercises. Talk to your support buddy. Think of the positive reasons for quitting and the rewards you will be able to achieve. Take some time by yourself. Do a favorite hobby.

HAPPINESS
There are many ways to celebrate feeling happy without lighting up a cigarette.

HEADACHES
Take a warm bath or shower. Try relaxation or meditation techniques. Do more physical activities. Cut down on coffee and cola drinks.

HUNGER, CRAVINGS
What is the cause? -- Craving for a cigarette can be confused with hunger pangs or a simple craving for oral stimulation. For years, your mouth was stimulated every time a cigarette landed between your lips. This has now been removed.
How Long will it last? -- Up to several weeks
What can I do? -- Drink water or low-calorie liquids. Be prepared with low-calorie and low-fat snacks (celery, pretzels, carrots, popcorn, melba toast); chew a toothpick, chew gum, munch on raw vegetables.

IRRITABILITY, GROUCHY, TENSE
What is the cause? -- The body is craving for nicotine. Tobacco smokers are in a chronic state of nervous stimulation. Many of the symptoms quitters experience are the result of the nervous system returning to normal.
How Long will it last? -- 1 to 2 weeks
What can I do? -- Deep breathe, take walks, exercise, use relaxation techniques, use nicotine gum, cut down on coffee and pop.

LACK OF CONCENTRATION
What is the cause? -- The body needs time to adjust to not having constant stimulation from nicotine.
How Long will it last? -- A few weeks
What can I do? -- Change activities, get some fresh air, exercise, deep breathe, listen to music, watch TV, do more physical activity, cut down on coffee and cola, plan workload accordingly, avoid situations that may trigger your desire to smoke.

LACK OF SLEEP
What is the cause? -- Nicotine affects brain wave function. This can influence sleep patterns and dreams about smoking are common.
How Long will it last? -- 1 week
What can I do? -- Take a hot, relaxing bath, avoid caffeine (coffee, tea, pop) after 6:00 pm. Try relaxing at bedtime with a glass of warm milk, deep breathing and relaxation techniques. Work on a hobby.

LONELINESS
Cigarettes are seen by many people as a close friend. Call a real friend. Go for a walk or a drive.

RESTLESSNESS
Work on a hobby. Catch up on your chores. Do some extra jobs at work. Be active.

TIGHTNESS IN THE CHEST
What is the cause? -- It is probably due to tension created by the body's need for nicotine; may be caused by sore muscles from coughing. Part of the recovery process may be the lungs attempt to remove mucus and tar. The normal mucus transport system will start to reactivate itself, which can initially cause coughing.
How Long will it last? -- A few days.
What can I do? -- Deep breathing and relaxation techniques. Be patient. Wait it out! Your body wants to return to normal.


Here are some tips to make your Quit Day a success.


FOLLOW A PLAN OF ACTION
If you're reading this you have already started "the plan". You've already decided that you want to know more about quitting. The first step is to make a decision that you want to quit. Also, be sure you know WHY you are quitting. Is it to improve your health? Save money? Improve your love life? Get a clear picture in your mind of the reason why you want to quit, so you have a clear "end-goal".

PREPARE AND SUCCEED
The next step is to get ready to quit. Most successful quitters don't just finish a cigarette, then say, "That's the last cigarette I'll every smoke," and quit on a whim. Instead, successful quitters prepare for the day when they will quit.
To prepare for your quit, decide what day you'll quit.

DECIDE HOW YOU'LL QUIT
Decide on the method you'll use to quit. Will you quit cold-turkey and use sheer willpower to quit? Or will you opt to use nicotine patches or nicotine gum? Have you considered Zyban?
What about other methods such as gradually reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke each day?

KEEP THE NICODEMON AWAY
Once you've decided on your method for quitting, and actually quit, you'll be tempted to smoke again. You can make staying quit easier if you follow some simple guidelines:

102 Replacements for
"Lighting Up"

  1. Quiet Walk in the park.
  2. Play with a dog or cat.
  3. Play with children.
  4. Work on a jigsaw puzzle.
  5. Take a bubble bath for 1/2 hour.
  6. Listen to good music.
  7. Wash your car.
  8. Clean a closet or drawer.
  9. Write a friend a note.
  10. Hug someone today.
  11. Watch Survivor or Amazing Race
  12. Mow the Lawn.
  13. Play Scrabble.
  14. Walk the dog.
  15. Brisk walk or jog.
  16. Clean the refrigerator out.
  17. Watch the aquarium fish.
  18. Meditate for 20 minutes.
  19. Say a prayer for someone.
  20. Bake cookies or a cake.
  21. Shop till you drop.
  22. Do some indoor gardening.
  23. Wash some windows.
  24. Read to an elderly person.
  25. Visit someone in a hospital.
  26. Go fishing.
  27. Drive around the block.
  28. Plant a shrub.
  29. Get a soothing massage.
  30. Try aromatherapy.
  31. Take some pictures.
  32. Browse through an online auction.
  33. Rent a videotape.
  34. Work a crossword puzzle.
  35. Do inline dancing.
  36. Work out in a gym.
  37. Hit a punching bag.
  38. Read some poetry.
  39. Do some Yoga.
  40. Roll pennies in wrappers.
  41. Sort the sock drawer.
  42. Browse a book store.
  43. Take up needlepoint.
  44. Fly a kite.
  45. Wash the car.
  46. Eat a pizza.
  47. Make hard-boiled eggs.
  48. Go to the library.
  49. Sweep the porch.
  50. Pick or buy flowers.
  51. Put up a web site.
  1. Sing a song.
  2. Rearrange furniture.
  3. Start a woodworking project.
  4. Fix something that's broken.
  5. Brush your teeth.
  6. Get a seafood dinner.
  7. Put up a backyard bird feeder.
  8. Watch "World's Funniest Animals".
  9. Call your grandma or grandpa.
  10. Talk to your Quit Buddy.
  11. Make a protein milkshake.
  12. Draw or paint a picture.
  13. Play a musical instrument.
  14. Play Solitaire.
  15. Watch ants with a magnifier.
  16. Make a snowman.
  17. Get a tan in a salon.
  18. Make a healthy snack.
  19. Repot your houseplants.
  20. Play with a Slinky toy.
  21. Read a magazine.
  22. Suck on some Altoids.
  23. Visit a florist to smell flowers.
  24. Read posts in the Forum.
  25. Go to a good movie.
  26. Bicycle around the block.
  27. Buy a Secret Pal greeting card.
  28. Play a new CD.
  29. Cook up a new dish.
  30. Browse a new store.
  31. Have or do a pedicure.
  32. Shop for shoes.
  33. Watch Crocodile Hunter on TV.
  34. Talk to your sponsor.
  35. Take your daily vitamins.
  36. Play cards with someone.
  37. Pay a couple of bills.
  38. Make a terrarium.
  39. Play with an Etch-A-Sketch.
  40. Sit outside, listen to birds.
  41. Make a video film.
  42. Play an online game.
  43. Read some funny jokes.
  44. Enjoy the smells in a bakery.
  45. Listen to the ocean on tape or for real.
  46. Play with a toy race car.
  47. Drink a new juice.
  48. Chew on a licorice whip.
  49. Wax the car.
  50. Put photos in an album.
  51. Make love.