Jenifer Hart, Clinical Coordinator in Student Health and Counseling at UT Martin, promotes the following information in counseling sessions:
Cravings caused by smoking cessation will last anywhere from 10-20 minutes often caused by feelings of stress or just wanting to chill/relax. The relaxation effect many experience from smoking does not come from the cigarette itself but from the act of smoking. Actually, the nicotine in cigarettes causes more stress to the body. The act of smoking includes the inhaling and exhaling techniques that are similar to the deep-breathing techniques used to promote relaxation. Smoking is also a distraction technique. The act of smoking distracts the brain from reoccurring thoughts. A type of therapy that is useful in promoting cessation is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This is a type of therapy that teaches thought stopping, distraction techniques, and thought management. Some people substitute food for cigarettes, hence, some unwanted weight gain may result. There are healthier ways to fight cravings. One technique is taking the time to focus on unwrapping each corner of a stick of gum. Using fine motor skills is part of the act of smoking that distracts the brain. Hence, taking the time to unwrap a piece of gum one corner of the wrapper at a time makes the brain focus, which is a distraction technique. Another distraction technique that can be utilized is becoming aware of the smell of the gum and then the flavor; savor the flavor. Exercise also serves as a distraction technique and is effective for stress relief.
If you wish to contact anyone in Counseling Services, please call 731-881-7750 or come by our office at the Student Health Center and Counseling Services at the University of Tennessee at Martin, 609 Lee St., Martin, TN 38238.
Other contacts and links that can provide assistance to those who wish to quit smoking
- Also, you may wish to contact the American Lung Association smoking cessation counselor who can offer services to anyone! The link to their Self-Help Website is http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/join-freedom-from-smoking/
- Smokefree.gov provides a daily challenge program located at the link https://smokefree.gov/dailychallenges-signup
- You may speak with an Expert about smoking cessation by calling 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872).
- Truth Initiative provides a website to help people stop smoking at https://truthinitiative.org/
- EX, another organization that provides smoking cessation programs, can be accessed at https://www.becomeanex.org/create-profile.php?SOURCE=NONE
Military Personnel and Families
Several resources are offered at the website TRICARE.mil/UCanQuit2:
Quit Tobacco – UCanQuit2, a U.S. Department of Defense program, is an educational campaign for the U.S. military. Launched in February of 2007, the mission of the campaign website is to help U.S. service members quit tobacco—for themselves and for the people they love. This website provides the opportunity to learn more about tobacco cessation, develop a plan for quitting, and get help around the clock. For more information about Quit Tobacco – UCanQuit2 or to share your comments, please email them.
Information from Quit.com
Nicotine in cigarettes is the chemical that creates cravings. Nicotine is an addictive drug that triggers the release of brain chemicals related to pleasure sensations. When you quit smoking, you cut off the supply of nicotine to the brain receptors, causing them to adjust, reducing the amounts of nicotine in your body. When your brain notices the lack of nicotine, it sends signals that it wants more. This is nicotine withdrawal, which causes your cravings. (Quit.com)
Quit.com suggests the following ideas on How to Stop a Cigarette Craving:
- Take a walk.
- Exercise - it can help relieve stress.
- Take a catnap.
- Check some errands off your to-do list.
- Do a little therapeutic home cleaning.
- Take a relaxing shower or soothing bath.
- Picture the future, a smoke-free you, and bask in how much better you’ll feel once you achieve your goal.
Partners For Health Tobacco Cessation Products
Members who want to stop using tobacco products can get free tobacco quit aids.
The following quit aids are FREE under the pharmacy benefit:
- Bupropion (Generic Zyban)
- Over-the-counter generic nicotine replacement products, including gum, patches and lozenges
- Nicotrol oral and nasal inhalers
Members may receive up to two, 12-week courses of treatment per calendar year (up to 168 days of treatment) with no lifetime maximum. A licensed clinician is required to write a prescription to get any tobacco cessation products at no cost, including over-the-counter aids. Simply present your prescription and your Caremark card at the pharmacy counter (not at the checkout registers) to fill at $0 copay. The plan only covers generic over-the-counter tobacco cessation products (not brand names) .