HowStuffWorks states that placing sugar on the tongue, swallowing honey, breathing into a paper bag, taking an antacid and drinking a glass of ice water are all effective methods for stopping hiccups. Some of these methods overstimulate the vagus nerve to stop the hiccups, while others increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the body.
According to HowStuffWorks, swallowing a tablespoon of honey cures hiccups by overwhelming the mouth with sweetness, which may possibly short-circuit the irritated vagus nerve. Placing a tablespoon of sugar on the back on the tongue produces the same results.
Breathing into a paper bag tricks the body into believing that it is suffocating, which forces deeper breathing to stop diaphragm spasms. Taking one or two antacids that contain magnesium soothes the nerves to stop the hiccup spasms. Drinking cold water or applying ice to the back of the neck may cause the body to take a deep breath from shock and rid the hiccups, explains HowStuffWorks.
To avoid hiccups, HowStuffWorks suggests eating slowly to prevent air from becoming trapped between pieces of food. Eating less is also recommended, as it is possible that hiccups are a signal to stop eating so the digestive system can have time to operate on the eaten food.