Quit Smoking Blog

Do This 1 Thing to Crush Cravings and Quit Smoking (which doesn’t cause cancer like Chantix)

The popular Pfizer drug Chantix has recently been recalled due to the FDA’s findings of a potential cancer causing ingredient that is known to be manufactured in it. Chantix, which was originally approved in 2006 by the FDA to help lessen the cravings that are associated with trying to quit smoking, has now been found to have high levels of nitrosamines in it. Nitrosamines are impurities that are oftentimes an unintentional byproduct of food processing and packaging, and when found in high enough levels, can be a cancer causing ingredient. The levels of nitrosamines in Chantix have recently shown to exceed the levels that are deemed safe and acceptable by the FDA, which has led to Pfizer recalling all units of the drug.

The recall of Chantix has now put many people in a difficult position to have to make a choice between potentially giving in to their cigarette cravings, or continuing to take a drug that may in turn cause them cancer…. Which is probably one of the main motivating decisions to quit smoking to begin with. Luckily, there is a way to crush the cigarette cravings without needing to rely on taking another drug that may still cause cancer. This all natural solution can be implemented into everyone’s life on a daily basis, and will not only help stop cravings for a cigarette, but will also help reverse the damaging effects that smoking has already caused. No, it is not a magic pill, but it is available everyday, to everyone, for free. What is the one thing that can be done to crush cravings while quitting smoking? Exercise!

Light to moderately intense exercise that is consistently done on a daily basis has been proven to increase many different health markers in people. The health benefits that are associated with light to moderately intense exercise such as lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, lower risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, lower depression and anxiety, are well documented in health and science studies. However, a recent study from 2017 shows that moderately intense exercise can also help with the cessation of smoking. 

Experts at St George’s University of London found that “moderately intense exercise markedly reduces the severity of nicotine withdrawal symptoms.” Exercise caused an increased activation of a type of receptor in the brain called α7 nicotinic acetylcholine, which is a target of nicotine, according to the findings. During exercise, and up to 50 minutes post exercise, a signal is sent to the brain that turns off the cravings for nicotine, and lessens the impact of nicotine withdrawal. The response to exercise can be felt almost immediately, as it doesn’t take a lot of time for the nicotine cravings to subside. Simply going for a brisk 10 minute walk can significantly help with the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.

There are not too many scenarios where exercise does not have a positive impact on the outcome, and that is no different when it comes to quitting smoking. The next time a craving for a cigarette hits, lace up those walking shoes and crush the craving with exercise!

Blog post written by Mike Ercolano. Learn more about our author here.