If you’re currently in the process of quitting, then you know the struggle is real when it comes to having an oral fixation, or the constant need to have something in your mouth. But thankfully, you have options. Instead of reaching for a cigarette, try one of these smarter ways of dealing with the urge to keep your mouth busy. From hard candy to toothpicks and beyond, there’s a strategy here for every smoker! Additionally you can try a form of oral nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) such as a gum or lozenge, which helps you quit while keeping your mouth busy.
5 Best Ways to Ease Your Oral Fixation
Sugarless Gum and Hard Candy
Stock up on sugar-free cigarette substitutes from the candy aisle such as gum, breath mints, and lollipops. Leave these items where you’d normally place your pack of cigarettes and ashtray, so they are handy when you have a craving. It may be tempting to reach for the real sugary stuff — chocolates, candy bars, or fruit chews — but beware: those calories add up.
Celery and carrot sticks make great cigarette substitutions because they’re full of vitamins and minerals. That means you can grab them and snack whenever you’d typically smoke without worrying about making an unhealthy choice. Don’t go crazy with creamy dips though. Stick to a spoonful of hummus or your favorite fresh nut butter if you need some extra flavor.
Keep your mouth busy by chewing on a toothpick. You can find cinnamon flavored versions, or look for mint ones if you’re partial to menthol cigarettes. Be careful not to mindlessly swallow the toothpick while it’s in your mouth!
Staying hydrated with water can also keep your lips and mouth preoccupied, especially if you usually have a cigarette with a cup of coffee or alcohol. Instead of having a cup of coffee and a smoke, have a cup of coffee and a cup of water. The same goes for alcohol. If it feels impossible to have your morning latte without a cigarette, try substituting tea instead.
Nicotine Coated Lozenges
Nicorette Lozenges provide long-lasting and discreet craving relief and address oral fixation. They’re even available in a portable mini version that you can throw in a purse or put in your pocket so you’re never without a fast solution. You can choose between Nicorette’s original Mint lozenge or the new Coated Ice Mint lozenge.
Remember: it doesn’t matter how long you smoked before you decided to quit; what matters is that you follow through on that decision! (The health benefits of quitting are immense for both people who have only been smoking for a few years and people who have been doing it all their lives.) Set yourself up for success by having these oral fixation substitutes handy throughout the day to say goodbye to cigarettes once and for all.