Identify Smoking Triggers And Nip Them In The Butt

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One of the most difficult aspects of quitting smoking is overcoming triggers, which are certain events or situations that make you feel the desire to smoke. Identifying these triggers, and figuring out how to overcome them, is one of the primary keys to smoking cessation success.

a) Drinking-
One common smoking trigger is drinking, whether it is coffee, alcohol, or a soft drink. To help break your self of associating drinking with smoking, try to change something about the situation. Perhaps you always drink your coffee from a certain mug. Try drinking with a different one. Or, maybe you enjoy having a beer sitting outside on the porch. Try having your drink somewhere else in order to change your surroundings. Anything you can do to change the situation will help reduce the trigger effect of drinking and smoking.

You might even consider cutting back or quit drinking alcohol altogether while you are trying to quit smoking. This is because your willpower is weakened when you drink, making it more likely you will slip up and have a cigarette.

b) Finishing a meal-
Many smokers get into the habit of having a cigarette after they get done eating. This eventually becomes another smoking trigger. As a result, every time you finish a meal, you feel the desire to have a cigarette. Try forming a new after eating hobby, such as going for a walk, or even a chore, such as doing the dishes. Anything to keep your mind and body occupied at that time will be a great help. Ideally, you should find another pleasurable activity to do immediately after eating so it will form a new, less destructive habit.

c) In the car-

Riding or driving in a car has become a popular trigger for smokers, particularly since smoking has been banned in so many other places. This has caused smokers to seek refuge, and a place to smoke, in their cars. To help with this trigger, remove all ashtrays from your vehicle. Or, fill it with something else, such as potpourri. You might even write several reasons for quitting smoking on pieces of paper and fill your ashtray with them. Try playing your favorite music and singing along instead of smoking while driving in the car.

d) Talking on the phone-
Several smokers get into the habit of having a cigarette while on the phone. This then leads to the mind associating the two tasks together. When talking on the phone, try going to a different room than usual. If this isn?t a possibility, such as in the workplace, keep small objects nearby to squeeze or play with in order to keep your hands occupied.

e) Being around others who smoke-
Being around other people who are smoking can make it especially difficult to stay away from cigarettes. This is partly due to the nicotine addiction, but it is largely due to the trigger effect of the camaraderie of smoking with other smokers. Try keeping away from designated smoking areas at work or from popular smoking gathering areas. In fact, just taking breaks at work can often trigger a desire for a cigarette. Try to spend time with people who don?t smoke at this time.

Parties and other social events with people who smoke can also make it difficult to quit smoking. Of course, it is ludicrous to expect yourself to avoid these events. But, you should avoid going outside with your friends when they have a cigarette. If smoking is permitted inside, or if it is an outdoor party, try to keep some distance from people when they are smoking.

f) Other reasons-
Other common smoking triggers include: stress, sex, boredom, end of the workday, crisis, a sense of accomplishment, playing cards, reading, waiting, watching television, and getting out of bed. If any of these are triggers for you, do whatever you can to change the scenario in some way to lessen the trigger effect. For example, instead of rewarding yourself with a cigarette, try rewarding yourself with a bubble bath or something else that is pleasurable to you. When going through a stressful situation or a crisis, reach out to friends and family to provide emotional support rather than reaching out for a pack of cigarettes. When watching television, keep your hands busy with something else or chew on something to satisfy your oral fixation.