Quitting Cigarettes: 4 Ways to Deal with Oral Fixation

March 1, 2024 • By Jacob Miller
The estimated reading time is 4 minutes
Quitting Cigarettes

We all know cigarette smoking is bad for health. Over the years, researchers from around the world have explored the causes of the smoking epidemic and subsequent public health concerns. While we do know that cigarettes contain harmful ingredients like tobacco and tar, a study published in the National Library of Medicine highlights how participants report behavioral aspects of smoking and tobacco use as part of the reason for their smoking addiction. These behavioral aspects are also why quitting can be so challenging for many smokers.

In the study, participants noted that addiction results from more than just the ingredients and chemicals found in cigarettes. They said factors such as having a smoking routine as well as cigarette cravings that are triggered by internal and external cues. Another crucial behavioral aspect participants pointed out was the oral fixation associated with being addicted to smoking.

Many smokers rely on different ways to quit the habit. One potentially effective way to do so is by tackling this oral fixation problem to reduce or eliminate any urges to smoke. Below, we'll be sharing four ways to deal with this for those trying to quit:

Healthy snacks

To help combat the tactile feel of having something in your mouth — in this case, a cigarette — it can be productive to replace that cigarette with something healthier. Many experts and doctors may recommend healthy snacks that resemble a cigarette's feel, texture, or look. This can include carrot or celery sticks due to their shape, or nuts and other crunchy snacks to give your mouth something to do that isn't smoking. Aside from keeping you from smoking, healthy snacking can also help maintain your health.

Nicotine gum

Nicotine gum is one of the oldest forms of cessation aids. Research has also recommended nicotine gum as a treatment to reduce cessation-related weight gain, as some of these are sugar-free. In our post about going on a sugar detox, we highlighted the harms of consuming too much sugar, including the risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Too much sugar can also impact your sleep and mood, which can exacerbate cigarette cravings on a bad day. By going for sugar-free nicotine gum, you can keep your mouth busy and fight cravings without feeding yourself too much sugar.

Nicotine pouches

These have become popular in recent years due to being smoke-free and markedly safer than traditional cigarettes. Users place a pouch between the lip and the gum to get microdoses of nicotine and can easily dispose of them afterward. Nowadays, nicotine pouches are easily accessible through online retailers like this website, where users can choose from popular and trustworthy brands like ZYN, Velo, and LUCY. Popular flavors include ZYN Peppermint, Spearmint, and Cool Mint, which may feel familiar for menthol smokers — without the smoke, tobacco, and tar. Like gum, these help keep your mouth busy without worrying about unwanted weight gain, as they aren't actually consumed.

Swedish snus

Finally, these look and function like nicotine pouches, but the original Swedish snus contains tobacco instead of nicotine. According to this report, the popularity of snus among Swedes has contributed to higher quitting rates and better public health in the country. Popular snus manufacturer Swedish Match has sold 277 million boxes of snus in Sweden and Norway in 2021, and it has become an integral part of Swedish culture. If you're worried about the effects of tobacco, brands have also made white snus, which are made of synthetic nicotine and, like pouches, are often flavored.

Ultimately, getting to the root of your cigarette addiction means recognizing the behavioral aspects associated with your smoking habit. By finding ways around your need for oral fixation, you can fight off cigarette cravings and withdrawal symptoms without compromising your health.

If you'd like to see more guides, insights, and updates on staying healthy, you can check out our page, where we post about nutrition and health and share recipe recommendations and beauty tips.


Jacob Miller

Jacob Miller is enthusiastic about a healthy diet and improving overall health by developing healthy eating habits and exercising. When he isn’t writing articles, he revels in reading about health, nutrition, fitness, psychology, and lifestyle.
This content is only for educational and informational purposes. It should not be considered as medical advice or taken as a treatment instead of one from a licensed physician. All readers should consult their doctors or certified health professionals before taking any advice from this site and applying it to their condition. We do not take responsibility for possible health issues of any person following the content in this informational website. All the viewers of this site should consult their physicians or doctors before taking on any supplement, diet, nutrition, or lifestyle program.
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