Knowing your triggers

The best way to beat cravings is to avoid them in the first place. By figuring out what is "triggering" your cravings you can take control of them.

Smoking triggers

Big idea: certain things trigger, or turn on, your need for a cigarette. Sometimes a craving will come out of nowhere, but more often than not there is a specific cause. Those “triggers” can be moods, feelings, places, or things you do. Knowing your triggers helps you stay in control.

Knowing what these triggers are will help you stay in control. You can take action to avoid them when possible or develop strategies to deal with them when they do come up.

Common triggers & what to do about them

While everyone is different, but there are some triggers that are common to many people.

Knowing is half the battle. Do you want to save your choices or add your own? It is easy and free.

What are your triggers?

  • Alcohol both triggers your cravings and undermines your ability to resist them. If you are serious about quitting smoking, then avoid alcohol for the first few weeks until cravings have faded. If you do drink, drink less and avoid drinking with your smoke-buddies.
  • Stress is an unavoidable part of life and you will need find healthy, alternative ways of coping if you are going to stay smoke-free long term. Here are some suggestions for handling stress.
  • Let all your friends know you are going smoke-free and ask them to support you by not smoking around you. Avoid places where your friends are likely to be smoking.
  • If you can, practice taking your coffee break without having a cigarette, even before you have actually quit. Alternatively, try switching to tea and breaking the rhythm.
  • If you used to smoke after eating, change your routine. Leave the table when you finish your meal and go for a walk or do the dishes. Substitute a hard candy for a cigarette.
  • If you usually step outside to smoke a cigarette during a break at work, stay inside instead. Spend some time with coworkers that you don’t smoke with.
  • If you’re used to smoking while you watch TV, try changing your routine. Sit in a different chair or watch in a different room. Keep your hands busy by eating a healthy snack or sipping water.
  • If you are used to smoking when you are out for a walk, try changing things up. Explore a new area or visit places you don’t normally go. Try going for a walk with a non-smoking friend.
  • Before you quit smoking, stop smoking in your car. Disconnect the association as much as you can. Remove all cigarettes, ashtrays, and lighters, and clean the upholstery to get rid of the smoky smell.