7 Smoking Triggers that create the urge to smoke a cigarette – and how to deal with themKarien Venter
After you quit smoking, you will find that many everyday activities or scenarios trigger the urge to have a cigarette. Here’s a few, including some tips on how to deal with them:
1. Being around other people who still prefer to smoke can give rise to urges – so try and avoid spending time with them while they are smoking. It will mean that you will have to – at times – deliberately not associate with smokers, and instead spend time with non-smokers (for instance during tea or lunch break at work).
2. Seeing a packet of cigarettes, or being offered a smoke, can be devastating if it catches you off guard. Plan ahead, and have something else ready that you can place in your mouth once the situation arises – it could be a mint or it could be some sugar free chewing gum.
3. After eating, many people may, out of pure habit, want to light up a smoke. Instead, get up and leave the table immediately. Try to engage in something distracting or pleasurable as soon as possible.
4. In your car – many smokers enjoy a smoke on their way to work, or while driving back. You can either remove the ashtray, or instead fill it up with something useful – even something to chew on. If you want to keep your mouth busy while you drive, you can always consider playing your favorite songs on the radio, and singing along.
5. After having coffee or tea – firstly, try to have your coffee or tea a bit colder, since the heat stimulates the tongue. Secondly, try to change the ritual – get a different cup or mug, do something else along with it, or do it at a time when you simply won’t have the option to smoke afterwards.
6. After an argument or a stressful event – instead of lighting up a cigarette, find a different way of cooling off. Take a brisk walk, or get into some other physical activity to channel your negative emotions.
7. Social gatherings can be tough for those who just quit smoking. When people go outside to smoke, don’t go along. Either stay inside or associate with the non-smokers. Additionally, alcohol lets you lower your guard, with the result that you might slip and light up a cigarette. As such, you might want to cut back on alcohol until you are totally over all of the cravings.
Many people who fall back into smoking after quitting, do so unintentionally. In many cases this can be avoided by simply planning ahead, and being prepared to deal with these situations so they don’t catch you off guard.