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Health Information for the Public

Pedro Resists the Urge to Smoke

Try these tips to resist the urge to smoke:

Keep your hands busy:

  • Do arts and crafts.
  • Garden.
  • Start a project around the house.
  • Read.

Put something in your mouth that is not a cigarette:

  • Drink water.
  • Chew sugarless gum.
  • Eat vegetable sticks or apple slices.
  • Chew on a short straw or a toothpick.

If you are stressed, angry, tired, or nervous:

  • Take a slow, deep breath, count to five, and release it. Repeat 10 times.
  • Talk with a friend.
  • Take a walk.
  • Listen to music.

When you get up in the morning:

  • Brush your teeth and use mouthwash, instead of smoking.
  • If you've always had a cigarette with coffee, switch to tea for a while or drink water.

Pedro Says: "In the beginning, I was stressed and craved a cigarette. Instead of lighting up, I called a quit smoking help line. They suggested that I chew sugarless gum and listen to music to help decrease the urge. It worked."

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Public Health Service
National Institutes of Health
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
NIH Publication No. 08-6356
June 2008

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