Man contemplating smoking
Man contemplating smoking

How to Reduce Smoking Cravings at Home

Smoking and Working from Home

When working from home, it is easier to find excuses to sneak a cigarette outside to take a break. Without the distractions of an office space or an area where you can engage with other co-workers, there are less ways to interact and keep busy outside of your work schedule, making tricky habits harder to kick in the comfort of your own home. Finding ways to curb your cravings to smoke while working from home is important. However, it can be even moreso currently as smokers might be at a higher risk for severe disease or death due to COVID-19 according to the CDC. The WHO stated in a Web-based Q&A that: “Smokers are likely to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 as the act of smoking means that fingers (and possibly contaminated cigarettes) are in contact with lips which increases the possibility of transmission of virus from hand to mouth. Smokers may also already have lung disease or reduced lung capacity which would greatly increase risk of serious illness…..Conditions that increase oxygen needs or reduce the ability of the body to use it properly will put patients at higher risk of serious lung conditions such as pneumonia.” 1

Below we offer several ways to work on smoking cravings during long periods of time working at home and learning to adjust to the new environment.

Tips & Tricks to Curb Smoking Cravings

  1. Keep your mouth busy: Find creative ways to keep your mouth occupied to prevent reaching for a cigarette. Chew on gum, suck on hard candy, or have a big cup of water available to you at all times. 3
  2. Go for a walk: If you need an afternoon break, leave the house without your cigarettes and go for a long walk. Practice mindful breathing, or set a goal to walk up and down stairs if it is safe to do so. 4
  3. Visit a public location: Most public locations do not allow smoking. The benefit of using this tactic is that it allows you to distract your mind while not allowing you to reach for cigarettes. 5
  4. Take a shower or bath: Relax and allow yourself to feel refreshed if you’re feeling anxious or frustrated. A warm or cold shower is a great way to practice self-care. 6
  5. Call a friend or loved one: Talk to someone you can trust if frustrated feelings or cravings arise while working from home. You don’t have to tackle cravings from smoking at home alone.

There are many tactics on how to reduce smoking cravings such as the ones we’ve outlined, and opportunities for you to get creative to quit smoking. To keep learning, explore additional Nicorette resources on topics such as motivational quotes for cravings and resisting the pressure to smoke.

 

SOURCES:

1. Q&A on smoking and COVID-19. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-on-smoking-and-covid-19. Accessed 4.24.2020. Referenced text is in a red box in source PDF.

2. Groups at Higher Risk for Severe Illness. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/groups-at-higher-risk.html#immunocompromised. Accessed 4.24.2020.

3-5. How to Manage Cravings. Smokefree.gov https://smokefree.gov/challenges-when-quitting/cravings-triggers/how-manage-cravings. Accessed 4.24.2020. Referenced text is in a red box in source PDF.

6. When you get the “crazies.” American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/guide-quitting-smoking/quitting-smoking-help-for-cravings-and-tough-situations.html. Accessed 4.24.2020. Referenced text is in a red box in source PDF.