Identifying, tracking, and managing them
What are triggers?Triggers are what make you want to smoke. Many things can trigger a craving to smoke, like daily activities or emotions.
Try to keep track of what makes you want to smoke, what you're doing, and how you're feeling when a craving strikes. Once you know that, you know your triggers!
Why should I track my triggers?It's important to stay busy and distracted, especially during the first days and weeks of quitting. It is just as critical to begin changing your daily habits you associate with smoking, so you can separate and replace them with new smoke-free behaviors that become your permanent habits.
Common triggers and how to manage them
Being around other people who smokeAsk your family and friends who smoke not to smoke around you. Do something else when others light up or avoid events where there will be smoking.
StressTry deep breathing. Breathe in slowly through your nose and out through your mouth. Count to four with each inhale and exhale. Repeat for 5 minutes, or until the feeling passes. Reach out to people who support you, play a game, try physical activities – move in a way that works for you.
Drinking coffeeChange up your routine – drink your coffee in a different space, at a different time, stand when you drink coffee instead of sitting, or change to tea or another drink for a while.
DrivingTry resting toothpicks or cinnamon sticks in your mouth. Chew carrot sticks. Sing along to music in the car.
Getting up in the morningBreak routine – try hopping in the shower when you would usually smoke, stretch, start a new physical activity, drink water, use your stop–smoking medications.
Going on breakChange the time, try not to take breaks with someone who smokes, reach out to a friend.
RelaxingChange the place you usually use for relaxing, have a healthy drink, listen to music, try deep breathing.
Finishing a mealGet right up from the table, brush your teeth, step outside, or play a game.
Using your phoneConnect with a friend who supports your quit, play a game, listen to a podcast, recorded book, music, or try less screen time like reading or physical activity.
BoredomTry to take up your free time with non-smoking physical exercises, hobbies, and activities that will keep your mind, body, and hands busy! Like to play games, do puzzles, walk, or read? When you're feeling bored switch to your hobby. Remember, cravings last just 5 minutes. In that time, you can get a puzzle or game started!
Trouble with triggers and cravings?Each moment away from your last cigarette is practice on your way to quitting! Remember your reasons to quit, talk with a Quit Coach to help develop a plan, manage cravings, and see if medications are right for you.
More for you –
Last updated 12/8/2021 1:34 PM
Follow usNews, program updates, and support to quit– join us on: