Behavioral Substitutes

Blog Post created by dr_hays on Dec 7, 2017

When quitting smoking, often one of the toughest parts is finding a suitable “substitute” for wanting something in your hand.


Suggestions for this include cinnamon sticks, cinnamon gum, or cinnamon candy.  Smokers say that the taste of cinnamon has the same ‘bite’ that a cigarette has.  Keeping a water bottle handy is another good idea – as water can curb cravings or urges also.  Many struggle with weight gain when they quit smoking, as they eat more to keep their hands and mouth busy.  Unfortunately, there is no magic remedy for this other than reaching for more sensible snacking such as vegetable sticks – celery, carrots.


Some people pick up a now hobby or interest when they quit smoking – craft work – wood-working, needlepoint, playing an instrument – such as guitar, will help with keeping one’s hands busy.  Besides this being a good behavioral substitute, it also “signals” to you that you are embarking on a new lifestyle.


There are so many options these days – such as hand-held video games, small magnetic sculptures, stress balls – even modeling clay can often hold one’s interest for some time – and keep your hands busy as well.  Many of these are inexpensive, and can easily get you through a craving – which typically lasts no more than 3-5 minutes.


You might be surprised at how just finding the “right substitute” can really help with that craving!!!