Your Cravings

Does the idea of quitting smoking scare you? You’re not alone. Your fear is without a doubt linked to: 

  1. having started smoking again despite your efforts to quit; 
  2. the negative view you have of this past experience; 
  3. a loss of self confidence and confidence in your ability to get through the situations, feelings and sensations that make you crave smoking.

The three exercises in this section aim to rebuild your confidence and make you want to get going again.  

  1. The first aims to develop a better understanding of your nicotine cravings.
    • The more aware you are of your nicotine cravings, the better you’ll be able to use our new method in the THAT'S IT, I QUIT! section.  
  2. The second one aims to help you regain your interest in quitting smoking soon by letting you experience success starting now!   

  3. The last one aims to make you find your motivations for quitting smoking.  

First exercise 

For one week: 

  1. Take the time to record your nicotine cravings either on paper, on your mobile phone, on your tablet, or elsewhere (See our suggestion below.); 
  2. Notice the time of day when the cravings arise (before lunch, after lunch, evening, night)  
  3. What you are experiencing (waking up, going out with friends), insomnia, heavy workload/unemployment, arguments, etc.) 
  4.  Then, notice how you feel right at that moment (in your body and mind). For example:  
    1. Unpleasant physical sensations in the abdomen, chest, or elsewhere (knot in the stomach, tightening sensation, tension in the neck, shoulders, throat, overall nervousness, etc.); 
    2.   Negative thoughts; 
    3.   Feelings and emotions (angry, sad, impatient, anxious, worried, panicked, upset, disappointed, worried, uneasy, grumpy, melancholic, bored, helplessness, joy, relief, pleasure, pride, relaxed, curious, nervous, etc.).
  5. Give the following cravings a score of 1 to 5 points: 1 = weak,  5 = strong; 
  6. Finally, write down what you have done in the past to get through these situations, emotions and sensations without smoking (ex.: drinking water, snacking on celery, carrots, chewing gum, talking on the telephone, doing a physical activity, thinking of other things, using willpower to fight the craving, etc.); 

Example sheet to note previous points. You can download it in Word format.


Time ofday 



Se Physical sensations, emotions, thoughts and feelings  





Knot in the stomach, tremors, bad moods, etc. 

Drink some juice. Listen to music and have a good breakfast.  




Stress, tightness in the shoulders, feeling like crying, discouragement, etc. 

Do some stretches with deep breaths, resist the craving  




 “Feeling “connected,” good mood, feverishness, etc. 

Dance, avoid going outside with the smokers 




.Anxiety, fears “indecision” following a  dispute, financial problems 

 Listen to relaxing music, think of other things 




Rage, grief, rapid heartbeat, tension in the neck 

Go for a walk, a drive, or listen to music. Talk yourself out of it. 

Second exercise

In the following week, practice this effective trick to re-motivate yourself to quit smoking :

  • Set small and attainable goals and actions that bring you closer to your biggest goal : getting rid of cigarettes! 

Even if these objectives are only “small,” they are very effective in giving you back your confidence!  

What to do 

Concentrate on one goal at a time.  

Instead of focusing on quitting smoking completely, focus your efforts on not smoking in certain situations! For example:  

  • in your car; 

  • When you consume alcohol; 

  • while talking on the phone; 

  • when you’re bored; 

  • while chatting with friends; etc. 

Write your small goal on a sheet of paper in capital letters and stick it someplace where it will be visible every day! When you have achieved your first small goal, move on to the next one!  

You’ll find it encouraging to see the sheets of paper with the goals achieved on them all over your refrigerator!  


Write your first small goal on a sheet like this:  


Do the same for your next small goals!  

Sometimes even a little goal can seem intimidating!  

Here’s an effective solution if you don’t know where to start: cut the task into little pieces!   

For example, if no longer smoking in your car is your goal, try driving the first five minutes or one time out of two without smoking.  

Do the same for all the other goals you decide to achieve!  You’ll see the successes pile up, which is really motivating!  



Third exercise

On your 90th birthday…


Following research on the method we’re using, we know that it is especially important for you to identify what quitting smoking means to you. The reasons you find will be powerful motivators to succeed in quitting smoking.  

Here’s a simple and fun way to identify the reasons that inspire you to really rid yourself of cigarettes.  

What to do 

Imagine today is your 90th birthday. This birthday is a good time to take a look at your life.  

Write down your answers to the four questions below.  

  • For example, many ex-smokers reported the importance of their family, the desire to be in better shape, to be rid of the obligation to smoke. These reasons are powerful motivations for quitting smoking.  
  • Q.1 
    Looking at what you’ve done up to this remarkable age, what are you most proud of? 
  • Q.2 
    When you think of your past, what would you like to have done or done more of?  
  • Q.3 
    What was most important to you in your life?  
  • Q.4 
    How could the answer you just gave inspire you to quit smoking today? 

Now, review your answers. If they show an accurate picture your motivations, print this page right away!  

Re-read your answers every day: they describe what gives your life meaning which is why it’s important for you to live your life free of cigarettes (and tobacco in general). 

Well done! 

You’ve finished the second part of this section. 

You should feel a stronger desire to quit smoking and a greater confidence in your ability to succeed. (If this is not the case, talk to one of our specialists on the I Quit Now line or at a smoking cessation centre near you!) 

Before moving on to the next section of the site, I’m ready to quit!, we encourage you to do the last part of this section Your Confidence. You’ll have a better idea of your confidence level in relation to your ability to succeed in quitting smoking.  

See also

  • Your Mental Roadblocks

    Say goodbye to your doubts, fears, and long held beliefs about smoking. Identifying your mental roadblocks will help you succeed in quitting smoking!

    Learn more
  • Your Confidence

    Evaluate your confidence in your ability to not smoke when faced with different situations on a daily basis. You could be ready for the next step!

    Learn more