The harmful effects of smoking are known to all of us; there are a million and one reasons to avoid cigarettes, from lung cancer to those ugly stained teeth.

Yet thousands of people still pick up the habit, whether out of curiosity or peer pressure and subsequently have a hard time stopping.

It's no wonder though as cigarettes are designed to be highly addictive!

If you're a smoker looking to quit or know someone who is trying to stop smoking, learn how to cope with smoking withdrawal symptoms! Being able to deal with cravings and withdrawal symptoms, will help you give up cigarette smoking for good.

3 Sweet Ways to Deal with Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms

1. Eat Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate raises serotonin and dopamine levels in your body, which improves your mood and relieves stress.

This is similar to the effect that the nicotine in cigarettes have on your body, the "soothing" effect smokers claim makes them feel better. With dark chocolate, you're not damaging your lungs!

The next time you feel stressed, try a bite of chocolate instead to feel good and get rid of that stress. Remember, dark chocolate has to be eaten in moderation though! ;p

2. Chew on Sugar-Free Mints

In a social situation, such as at a party or with a group of friends who are smoking, you might feel uncomfortable with your empty, idle hands and nothing sitting between your lips.

Your cigarette cravings may come back, or you may want to try one to see what all the fuss is about.

When that happens, start chewing on a sugar-free mint instead. It will keep your mouth occupied for a considerably long time, allowing that urge to smoke to subside by the time you finish the mint.

Plus, it's sweet!

3. Sweet, Mood-Boosting Exercise

Exercising releases mood-boosting endorphins and helps to relieve stress.

Sounds familiar? It is similar to the effect that cigarettes have, except without all the harmful consequences. Not only that, physical activity has other health benefits such as helping you prevent unhealthy weight gain and maintain your fitness level.

Yoga is an exercise that is a great alternative to smoking, especially for those who smoke when they're tired or stressed.

The deep breathing techniques of yoga relax the body and neutralise nicotine cravings, helping you to stay away from cigarettes. Doing yoga regularly also improves your mental health in the long term.

To stop smoking, learn as much as possible about quitting so you’re prepared for the cravings and withdrawal symptoms. There are different smoking cessation methods. You can quit cold turkey or give nicotine replacement therapy a go.

To find out which quit method works best for you, check out this game plan which details how to quit smoking.

Consider Nicotine Replacement Therapy to manage your withdrawal symptoms

If you find that your withdrawal symptoms unbearable, consider tapping onto nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) which increases the chances of quitting by easing these withdrawal symptoms. NRT supplies nicotine to the body to replace the nicotine from cigarettes and to help reduce nicotine cravings when quitting. The amount of nicotine supplied is slowly reduced over time to decrease dependency and help you quit smoking. Consult a pharmacist or doctor to find out more.

Resources for Quitting

Join the I Quit Programme and remain smoke free for 28 days and you are 5 times more likely to quit smoking. You can nominate your loved ones as a supporter when you sign up for the programme. Validate your smoke-free status and redeem a HPB eVoucher* worth $50 at the 28th day milestone. Keep going and you'll also receive eVouchers* worth $30 and $20 at the 3rd month and 6th month milestone respectively!

*Terms and conditions apply Download the HealthHub app on Google Play or Apple Store to access more health and wellness advice at your fingertips.

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