How To Avoid Smoking Triggers

How To Avoid Smoking Triggers

One of the most difficult aspects about quitting smoking is avoiding triggers that make you crave a cigarette. Although craving nicotine is the primary cause for smoking, there are many other physical and mental triggers that make us want to continue smoking. 

Withdrawal triggers:

This is a common trigger for those who have been smoking for longer periods of time. These triggers can be brought on by just being around a cigarette, with the mere appearance of smoke often being especially stimulating. Withdrawal triggers can also be triggered in more subtle ways, such as feeling as though you need to do something with your hands, or feelings of restlessness.

We know vaping can help with these triggers, but there are many other forms of NRT (nicotine replacement therapy) methods which can be hugely helpful in alleviating withdrawal symptoms, such as:

  • Nicotine patches
  • Nicotine gum
  • Nicotine lozenges
  • Nicotine inhalers or nasal spray

As all of these tools are available at a number of outlets, it’s definitely worth going to your local pharmacy or stop smoking clinic to discuss these options with a professional. 

Social triggers:

 The urge to smoke can be brought on by the most unsuspecting events, and before you know it, you'll be holding a cigarette in your hand. Examples of this can be going to the pub or a party with friends, or maybe celebrating a big life event. You should try not to sacrifice your social life, but try modifying it instead to avoid triggers, such as sitting inside the pub where people aren't allowed to smoke. 

Emotional triggers:

Another reason people reach for cigarettes is for emotional reasons. As every smoker is different, these types of triggers can be brought on by either positive or negative emotions, such as excitement or stress. You can help to reduce these triggers by talking about how you feel to others, especially when you are feeling stressed and upset. Practicing slow breathing exercises, taking the time to get outside for a walk, as well as general exercise can all also help in taking your mind off of your cravings. 

Pattern triggers:

These triggers arise from habits or patterns that have formed while smoking. For example, if you smoke in your car and on your lunch break, every time you get in your car or stop for lunch, you may feel the urge to reach for a cigarette. Finding a replacement for smoking is highly effective in tackling pattern triggers. Replacing smoking with chewing gum, going for a walk, or even just busying your hands with something like knitting (not recommended while driving!) can all help to distance your mind from smoking.


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