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Escaping Nicotine Cravings While Trying To Quit Smoking

Filed under: Exclusives!Q&AAdviceSmoking

Craig Nabat

Trying to quit smoking is tough! Especially the first ten days!

A FitPerez reader looking to ditch their nicotine habit wrote smoking counselor Craig Nabat for advice on beating cravings during the process, asking:

"I am a long time smoker and I currently attempted to quit (AGAIN, LOL). I am actually beginning my 3rd smoke free day today. My problem is that after today is usually when I start smoking again, almost EVERYTIME. Usually the first 3 days smoke free are the hardest but its usually a breeze for me and day 4-5 are usually when i break…WHY is this?!?!? I am feeling great but I am very nervous about the next 2 days…any advice/tips? Thanks so much for your time!"

According to Craig:

Congratulations on making it to your 3rd day of no smoking. Look at quitting smoking as a ten day process. Three days to get through the crucial detoxification period where your mind and body are coming off nicotine. It takes another 7 days to rid the body of all the toxins from cigarettes. After 10 days have passed you are only dealing with the psychological aspects of the addiction. Unfortunately, the psychological aspects can last for life, but they do substantially diminish overtime. You can compare the ongoing experience to how a person gets over a lost love.

Over the next few days force yourself to exercise, get a massage, and take 10 deep breaths if an urge for smoking comes along, all smoking urges pass within 3 minutes. Also, if you can refrain from caffeine and alcohol during this time, it would be helpful. Drink water as much as possible for the next 10 days. The pain and anguish of quitting is short compared to being a lifelong smoker. You can do it!

For more tips to quit smoking, feel free to tweet Craig questions @freedomlaser or write to tips@fitperez.com!

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