What stands in your way?

Managing Cravings

One of the hardest parts of quitting is managing cravings. Everyone’s quit journey is unique and you will learn what works best for you by trying different things. 

Give some of these tips a try: 


Brush your teeth, chew gum or have a mint 

Try cinnamon flavoured gum to get through a craving. Chewing gum, a mint or a cinnamon stick can be a great distraction. 


Keep your hands busy

Holding a stress ball, a pen, or a straw can work wonders ingetting through a craving. It takes away the need to have a cigarette or vape in your hand. 

Simple deep breathing can be one of the best ways to manage a craving. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth to calm and clear your mind instead of reaching for a cigarette. 


Take advantage of quitting medications and therapies, as well as free support and counselling services

Take the first step by talking to a Quit Coach to understand the free support that’s available to you, from medication to counselling. BC Public Service employees are eligible for some smoking cessation medication reimbursement through extended benefits and the BC Smoking Cessation Program


Shake up your routine and avoid temptation 

One of the best ways to avoid a craving is to change your routine, especially around the times you would normally smoke or vape. 

For example, if you usually have a cigarette with your morning coffee, try switching to tea instead.

It only takes a few days after quitting smoking to recover your sense of smell and taste.



Urge surfing is a mindfulness technique that can be used to avoid acting on a behaviour in order to reduce or stop it. Urges are like waves in that they rise in intensity, peak and eventually fade. Give it a try to get through your cravings:

  1. Focus on the area where you experience the craving.
  2. Notice where you experience the urge in your body.
  3. Focus your attention on your breath for one to two minutes. You do not need to change your breathing at all, simply focus on it.
  4. Gently shift your focus back to the part(s) of your body that experience the urge and allow yourself to notice whenever sensations come up in these places.
  5. Imagine the body sensations connected with your urge are like a wave. Imagine the wave rising and falling over and over as the intensity of your urge sensations peak and subside. Use your breath to ride these waves. Practice this for at least one minute.