It would seem that nicotine bears the most of the blame when it comes to pin-pointing what the exact factors are that contribute to tobacco addiction. That’s why there are so many products that exist as nicotine replacement therapies. But anyone who has been addicted to cigarettes before knows there’s more to the story. In fact, nicotine is only one part of why quitting cigarettes is so hard. Another reason is the repeated hand to mouth sensation that smoking a cigarette makes you do.
Many people who have managed to quit smoking still to this day find themselves constantly messing around with plastic straws, pencils or paperclips, mindlessly snacking, and feel a little lost when they can’t do this. The physical handling of the cigarette itself plays a huge role in why they are so hard to give up. This is called hand-to-mouth addiction.
What Is Hand-To-Mouth Addiction?
Hand-to-mouth addiction refers to the habitual action of bringing your hand to your mouth in a repeated fashion. Repeated so much so, that the movement becomes not only automatic but eventually it begins to feel needed and craved.
Ask any current or former smoker and they’ll all confirm this phenomenon of hand-to-mouth addiction. This is common in smokers and ex-smokers. And many people find this void tough to fill when they first decide to quit.
Dr. Lynne Dawkins, Senior Psychology Lecturer at the University of East London made the following comment regarding hand-to-mouth addiction: “The hand-to-mouth action of smoking through associative learning mechanisms can become a deeply entrenched habit. The habitual act of reaching for a cigarette, coupled with reduced impulse control during a quit attempt, may constitute a strong relapse factor. Any smoking cessation aids which more closely resemble a cigarette could help smokers to quit.”³
What Happens to Your Body When You Quit Smoking?
Just 24 hours after you stop smoking your body’s oxygen levels increase and blood pressure decreases. This supports better heart health and makes engaging in physical exercise easier.
Some people notice an improved sense of smell and taste after only a couple of days of being smoke-free. And just 3 days after putting out your last cigarette, the nicotine levels in your body finally start to go down. This is important to note because, during this part of the quitting process, symptoms of nicotine withdrawal are usually at an all-time high.¹
This is precisely why it’s important to stay prepared. Knowing these symptoms are hard to deal with should be the motivation you need to get out in front of the problem, before it even feels like a problem.
Check out this list we’ve put together of 7 things you can try, to help curb your hand-to-mouth addiction.
Get A New Water Bottle
Treat yourself to a brand new water bottle. Make sure to pick out something that’s visually appealing, as well as practical. It’s even better if you get the kind where you have to physically unscrew the lid. This additional movement will help curb the uneasy feeling associated with quitting smoking.
Make sure to keep this bottle full, and nearby at all times. When you’re feeling the urge to light up, take a big hydrating drink of water instead! Additionally, the extra water you’re bound to consume will help in flushing toxins from cigarettes out of your system.
Invest In Some Play-Dough
Whether you’re a parent or not, play-dough is always considered an acceptable household item to have around. Particularly, if you happen to be quitting cigarettes.
Similar to the way a stress-ball helps relieve stress and tension, taking a time out to squish some dough between your fingers can be therapeutic. You don’t have to go all out and buy every single play-dough color on the shelf, just one or two small containers will do the trick.
Just like with the water bottle, keep the container nearby, and pull it out when you’re feeling the feels.
Break Out The Coloring Books
You’re never too old to color. In fact, there are a variety of adult-centered coloring books on the market today waiting to be filled in by someone just like you!
Remember how fun it used to be in grade school to open up a brand new box of pointy Crayola’s and create your first masterpiece of the school year? Well, it turns out, you don’t have to be in grade school to enjoy the pleasures of coloring. This is something that can be enjoyed no matter your age.
Find A New Favorite Healthy Snack
Let’s face it. Everybody tends to eat more food once they’ve given up smoking. This is usually the result of an increased appetite coupled with the craving for hand to the mouth movement. This is a major reason why so many ex-smokers report a significant amount of weight gain in the first year of being smoke-free.
That’s exactly why it’s important to get out in front of this issue early on. Plan ahead and anticipate times in your day when you feel particularly uncomfortable. Keep your healthy snack readily available for when the urges kick in.
*Pro-tip: Oranges or mandarins are a wonderful option, as they are not only healthy, but the requirement of getting through the peel keeps the hands busy and the vitamin C is just the encouragement your immune system needs.
Keep A “Chew Kit” For Emergencies
You know the urges are going to come and go. Putting some thought behind an emergency “chew kit” could be helpful in curbing that hand-to-mouth void. As you might have already guessed, this chew kit is going to contain items that you can discreetly chew on during your times of need.
A list of helpful items to include in your kit might include:
- Sugar-free chewing gum.
- Altoids or something similar.
Try Out A Fidget-Spinner
Fidget spinners became popular in recent years mostly being advertised towards children. The idea was if a child is given something to fidget with before they’re expected to focus, they will have an easier time of doing so.
Just like the play-dough, and the coloring books, you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy the benefits of a fidget-spinner. They’re fairly low-cost and can be found in most convenient stores and main shopping centers. While this option won’t necessarily allow you to repeat the hand-to-mouth motion, it will aid in quelling the urge.
Smoke A Jeffrey!
Remember what Dr. Lynne Dawkins said? “Any smoking cessation aids which more closely resemble a cigarette could help smokers to quit.”
If you’ve failed at all the above-mentioned ways to help curb your hand-to-mouth addiction, perhaps it’s time to take a different approach to leaving tobacco behind? Here at Jeffrey's hemp, wholesale cbd cigarettes manufacturer and distributor, we have created a hemp cigarette that is identical to a traditional cigarette.² Our pre-rolls allow you the satisfaction of smoking, minus the adverse effects of tobacco. So, instead of ingesting all the harmful chemicals that come in a tobacco cigarette, you can sit back and relax knowing you’re not consuming any nicotine whatsoever.
The obvious benefit to this is you can quit the nasty tobacco cigarettes with cbd and with out having to give up the entire experience of smoking.
We know that the last one on our list might not feel fair. Smoking a Jeffrey won’t necessarily help curb your hand-to-mouth addiction. But we decided to include it on the list for this simple fact; It does find a pretty darn good way around the issue.
Curious to learn more about hemp cbd cigarettes? Check out this recent article we published: Everything You Need to Know About Hemp Cigarettes!
- UMPC | Western Maryland. (2018). What Happens to Your Body When You Quit Smoking Cigarettes? UMPC. https://www.wmhs.com/your-body-quit-smoking
- Jeffery's Hemp. https://www.jeffreyshemp.com/
- QuitSmokingDoctor. How to help overcome the hand-to-mouth habit. http://quitsmokingdoctor.com/how-to-help-overcome-the-hand-to-mouth-habit-that-makes-it-more-difficult-for-smokers-to-quit/