Knowing my triggers

Triggers are everyday activities or situations that make you want to smoke. Everyone has their own triggers, like drinking coffee, stress or socializing with friends. Knowing yours will help you make a plan to beat the cravings to smoke.

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 reduces your ability to deal with cravings. Consider avoiding alcohol for the first few weeks of your quit. Or try drinking less and alternating between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
  • It’s best to avoid places where people will be smoking. It’ll get easier over time, but in the beginning, it’s best to take a temporary break from people who use tobacco so you aren’t tempted to join them. If necessary, have a back-up plan to beat the cravings.
  • Avoid temptation by staying away from people who use tobacco. Let your friends know that you are quitting and ask for their support by not smoking around you.
  • For some, just the smell of coffee can cause a craving, so it might be best to avoid coffee during the first few weeks of your quit. Since coffee is addictive too, consider switching to tea or other beverages before you quit so you don’t go through coffee and nicotine withdrawal at the same time.
  • Stress is a normal part of life and some people use smoking to cope. But smoking doesn’t reduce stress – it actually increases blood pressure, heart rate and muscle tension. Try healthier ways to deal with stress so you can quit for the long-term.
  • Change up your routine after meals so you aren’t sitting around after eating when cravings can be strong. Leave the table when finished and go for a walk, do the dishes or brush your teeth.
  • Find a new routine to get a break at work. Consider going for a walk, calling a friend or spending time with co-workers who don’t use tobacco. They take breaks too right?
  • If you’re used to smoking when watching TV, try changing your routine. Sit in a different chair, eat different snacks. Keep your hands busy by eating a healthy snack, sipping water or juice, or knitting.
  • If you are used to smoking when you are out for a walk, alter your route, explore new areas or visit places you don’t normally go. Try going for a walk with a non-smoking friend.
  • Before you quit, give your car a good cleaning and remove all the cigarette butts, lighters and other smoking reminders. Stock up your car with snacks like veggie sticks, fruit, sugarless gum or candy, and keep lots of water on hand.
  • Many smokers are used to starting each day with a cigarette. After you quit, it will be important to establish a new morning routine. Try drinking a couple glasses of water when you wake up. Plan a specific activity first thing to keep your mind and hands busy and distracted like some exercise. Make sure no cigarettes are available.
  • People often crave a smoke when bored. Quitting can be a good time to take up new hobbies or activities. You’ll have more time on your hands, so why not take up something new.