How to Beat Junkie Thinking During Nicotine Withdrawal

Woman with fingers in her ears and closed eyes

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Thoughts of smoking are common as you go through nicotine withdrawal. Your mind can feel like it's turning itself inside out trying to convince you to have just one cigarette. Don't let it throw you; this is a normal part of recovery from nicotine addiction.


Make a vow to put your thoughts on ignore when you're struggling, and keep your focus on the day you have in front of you only. Don't worry about tomorrow; don't fret about never smoking again. Just think about getting through TODAY smoke-free.

Junkie thinking can sometimes spring up out of nowhere when you least expect it. Suddenly your mind has shifted from coping to desperately trying to rationalize why smoking would be an alright thing to do...right now. That is addiction and habit talking to you, and the voices can get pretty urgent at times. It can feel like you're never going to stop missing cigarettes but don't be fooled. 

You absolutely will reach a place of peace if you stick with it, so put negative thoughts on ignore.

The tips below will help you build a strong mindset for smoking cessation.​

List Your Reasons for Quitting

Read (and add to) your list of reasons and write in your quit journal daily. This will keep your mind sharp about why you've quit, as well as how far you've come.

Don't slip into thinking that because you've done so well, you can smoke and quit again easily. It never works that way. People who return to smoking usually spend years trying to quit again. Your reasons for quitting will never be less true as time goes by, but they can feel less critical if you're not careful.

If you are seriously considering smoking, take some time to think about the answers you'd give to the questions below.

  • Why did you quit smoking?
  • How long did you smoke?
  • How long have you been smoke-free?
  • How long do you think it should take to be free of nicotine addiction?
  • If you go back to smoking, will you want to quit again?
  • How long will it be before you do? Weeks...months...years? When illness strikes?
  • Will quitting be any easier next time around?
  • How do you think smoking will benefit you?
  • Is it worth giving up what you've worked so hard to do?

Some of these are hard questions to answer, but if you're thinking about lighting up, do yourself a favor and answer them honestly. Take out a piece of paper, or open your quit journal and really consider your responses to each and every one of these questions.

Protect and nurture the freedom you're working toward with every smoke-free day. Remember that the chains of addiction are broken one link at a time. Be patient with yourself, and let time help you.

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