Identifying Your Smoking Triggers

Smokers may feel uncomfortable or “on edge” if they are not smoking at times or in places where they usually have a cigarette. Certain things trigger, your desire for a cigarette. They can be moods, feelings, places, or things that you normally do.

These times and places are called triggers because they trigger, or turn on, cigarette cravings. Breaking these trigger habits is the most difficult part of quitting for some smokers.

Identifying, managing, and avoiding your triggers is essential for staying in control when attempting to quit smoking.

Keeping a detailed cravings / smoking diary for several weeks will help you identify and acknowledge your smoking triggers.

Some triggers for smoking may include some or many of the following:

    After having sex

    Attending a party with friends

    Being with other smokers

    Birthday, anniversary, etc celebrations

    Cooling off after a fight

    Drinking coffee

    Drinking wine or beer

    Driving your car

    Feeling sad, lonely, or down

    Feeling stressed

    Finishing a meal

    New Years Eve celebrations

    Playing cards

    Seeing someone else smoke

    Stressed at work

    Taking a work break

    Talking on the phone

    Waking up (e.g. in the morning)

    Watching TV

In order to successfully quit smoking, it is essential that you identify your triggers for smoking. Be aware of your triggers so that you can avoid or manage them so that you can avoid, as far as possible, the temptation to smoke.