How to Survive a Long Flight If You Are a Smoker

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Watching in-flight movies can prove a distraction from cigarettes
Watching in-flight movies can prove a distraction from cigarettes (Image: Ron Levine/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Long haul flights can induce withdrawal symptoms in smokers identical to the symptoms that arise in those who are trying to give up smoking. These can include irritability, sweating, headaches, fatigue and nausea. Although smoking is not permitted anywhere on an aircraft nowadays, which means that smokers need to wait till the end of their flight to be able to light up, a few simple things can help to make the experience more bearable.

Things You'll Need

  • Nicotine gum
  • Nicotine patches
  • Regular chewing gum
  • Sugarless candy
  • Nuts, crisps
  • Water
  • Book, crossword puzzle
  • Stress ball
  • Rubik's cube
  • Crocheting or knitting equipment

Before Your Flight

Have a good night's rest and arrive in plenty of time at the airport to ensure you are not irritated or stressed. These are the times when smokers reach for the cigarette pack.

Ensure you are going to be comfortable during your flight. Consider paying for seats with extra room. If it means a more pleasant, stress-free flight when you don't think about smoking, it could be worth it.

Buy a nicotine equivalent such as gum, patches or even electronic cigarettes.

Buy snacks such as nuts, sugarless candy or crisps to take on board, or buy them on the plane. Chewing gum also helps to stop cravings.

During Your Flight

Keep occupied by reading or keep your hands busy by knitting, doing crossword puzzles, handling a stress ball or playing with a Rubik’s cube.

Avoid drinking excessively, as this can make cigarette cravings worse. Caffeine can also make withdrawal symptoms worse. Instead drink plenty of water.

Stretch your legs from time to time to keep your circulation going and occupy yourself for a few minutes.

Take a sleeping aid if you really feel you won’t be able to handle the nicotine withdrawal. Speak to your doctor before flying, who should be able to administer a tranquilizer or something similar.

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