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How to Combat Smoking Cravings and Urges While Travelling


Traveling can be a major source of stress for many people, especially smokers and people who have recently quit smoking. Here are a few tactics to utilise next time you are travelling and struggling with nicotine/cigarette cravings and urges to smoke.

Ljubljana, Slovenia Travel Photography by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com-7016
Smokers in the streets of Ljubljana – by Ben Holbrook.

There aren’t as many opportunities to smoke cigarettes while travelling. Airlines and other travel venues ban cigarettes. Cigarettes might also be too expensive in some countries, due to steep taxes imposed by local authorities. Smokers might have to go up to 24 hours without a cigarette, which can be very frustrating at times.

Certain travel experiences can trigger the desire to smoke. This can be a challenge for people that have recently quit smoking and are still struggling with the temptation to resume the habit. 

You need to be realistic about the cravings that you are likely to face while travelling. Fortunately, there are quite a few things that you can do to keep them in check. 

The following guidelines should make it easier to enjoy your trip when you don’t have many opportunities to smoke. 

Use tobacco alternatives during your trip 

Cigarettes aren’t the only source of nicotine. You might want to consider trying alternatives, which include: 

  • Smokeless tobacco. Black Buffalo produces a number of forms of smokeless tobacco, such as chew. You can use it on the plane and many other places that ban cigarettes.
  • Vaping. Vaping is another way to get your dose of nicotine. Many places that prohibit cigarettes still allow vaping. 
  • Nicotine gum. Nicotine gum is one of the oldest nicotine alternatives to cigarettes and is quite effective. 
  • Nicotine patch. The nicotine patch is another classic tobacco alternative. 

All of these options are much more convenient than cigarettes if you are struggling with nicotine cravings. You can use them while flying or visiting areas where cigarettes are banned. You also don’t need to deal with the hassle of lighting and holding a cigarette for 15 minutes, which would get in the way of other activities. 

Try visiting areas with stricter laws against smoking 

Anti-smoking laws vary throughout the world. They can even vary significantly between cities that are in close proximity to each other. 

It is generally a good idea to visit communities with stricter anti-smoking laws if you are trying to avoid the temptation of smoking. You are going to be exposed to far fewer smokers, so you are less likely to smell tobacco and start feeling cravings. 

The following ten countries have the most smokers per capita, so you should avoid them:

  • Kiribati 
  • Nauru
  • Greece
  • Serbia 
  • Russia

Instead, you might want to visit one of the following countries: 

  • Canada 
  • Australia 
  • Bhutan 
  • Singapore 
  • Costa Rica 

These countries have taken dramatic steps to minimise smoking. They have passed much stricter regulations in recent years, so you won’t have to be exposed to people smoking in restaurants, bars, and other indoor venues. People can’t smoke in many outdoor settings either. 

What if you are planning a trip in the United States? You might want to visit one of these cities: 

  • San Francisco 
  • Portland, Oregon 
  • New Orleans 

These municipalities have also taken significant measures to curb cigarette use. You might be surprised that New Orleans is on the list since it has a historic reputation for smoky bars dating back to the speakeasies during prohibition. 

However, the city passed the New Orleans smoke-free ordinance (New Orleans City Code Chapter 66, Article II) in 2015, which bans smoking in most indoor areas. Cities with similar laws are great places for reformed smokers to travel. 

Choose activities that are less likely to trigger smoking cravings 

There are many activities that you can partake in while you are travelling. Some of these activities will help you completely forget your temptation to smoke cigarettes. Others will trigger strong cravings that you might not be able to resist. You should obviously opt for the farmer if you want to avoid going back to cigarettes. 

Outdoor activities are great for helping you get over your desire to smoke. Fresh air, physical activity, and the fragrance of exotic vegetation can facilitate the production of endorphins. This will be a much healthier substitute for the pleasure of smoking. 

You will probably want to avoid spending too much time in bars and clubs if you are still getting over your cigarette addiction. While it is illegal to smoke in these establishments in most parts of the world, people can often smoke outside. 

The smell of other patrons smoking might create too much of a temptation. Many smokers also associate alcohol with cigarettes, so drinking probably isn’t the best idea until you fully conquer your addiction. 

Don’t let cigarette cravings ruin your trip 

Are you trying to overcome your addiction to cigarettes? You might experience powerful cravings while travelling. Even if you aren’t trying to quit, you might get frustrated if you can’t smoke many of the places that you are visiting. The good news is that there are plenty of things that you can do to take your edge off your cravings and have a great time on your trip.


What other tactics have you employed to help fight your urges to smoke while travelling? Leave a comment below to leave your tips and tricks.

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