For smokers traveling to international destinations, long-haul flights can induce harsh withdrawal symptoms. These physical problems, which are similar to what people trying to quit smoking experience, typically include irritability, headaches, sweating, fatigue, and nausea. In worst cases, people could get involved in air rage incidents. Clearly, these are crucial concerns for smokers who would find themselves “trapped” inside the plane without any means to light a cigarette.
Smoking is not permitted anywhere in an aircraft these days. However, if you’re a smoker bound for a country located thousands of miles away, you don’t need to suffer and wait until you reach your destination before doing something about the unbearable situation of not being able to light a stick for many hours. Your available options may not always match what a real cigarette can offer, but they can still help alleviate the withdrawal symptoms you encounter during air travel.
Keep a Relaxed Mind and Body Before the Flight
Prior to the actual do’s and don’ts during the flight, it is essential to readily keep yourself relaxed before boarding the plane. Have a good night’s rest and arrive at the airport on time the next day. Avoid activities that could possibly get you irritated or stressed — as these typically demand smokers to reach for a cigarette pack.
Take a Nicotine Supplement
Take a nicotine patch, gum, or inhaler, whichever product suits you best. You may also bring all of them and try any one whenever you have the urge to smoke during the flight. All these items are primarily used for nicotine replacement therapy, which is particularly geared toward those attempting to quit smoking. They help relieve withdrawal attacks by replacing the nicotine content coming from cigarettes.
These options have varying results for each user. For instance, you may prefer a patch to simply help prevent your cigarette cravings. Others may prefer a gum so that they have something to chew on when they are unable to light a stick. Some may prefer an inhaler so they can hold and inhale something in a similar way that they do with a cigarette.
Chew a Smokeless Tobacco
Another alternative you can try is a smokeless tobacco. Often packaged in a small can, a chewable tobacco comes in different flavors. Like chewing a nicotine gum, this option requires you to have a container where you can spit in the used tobacco afterwards.
Eat Flavorful Sweets, Nuts, and Crisps
If you’re not a fan of nicotine-replacement products or if you’re unable to bring any of them prior to your flight, buy the more accessible candies, lollipops, chewing gums, lozenges, nuts, and crisps and eat them whenever you feel like smoking. Although their effects are different from one person to another, some smokers find it better to take sweets with long-lasting flavors to better minimize their bodies’ demands for cigarette packs.
Sleeping During the Flight
Sleeping during the flight generally lessens the need to smoke. If you often find it difficult to sleep during travel, you may want to consult a doctor for the best brand of sleeping pills that you can take in the plane.
Some people take alcoholic drinks or even sedatives to aid them to sleep and relax during a flight. However, consuming too much wine, beer, coffee, and other beverages with alcohol and caffeine content is not ideal because these drinks contribute to dehydration and they usually make cigarette cravings worse. It is important to note that immobility and dehydration during long flights may also increase the risk of developing fatal blood clots, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism.