Identifying and Dealing with Your Smoking Triggers



Those who have resolved to stop smoking can attest that quitting is difficult. Hurdles or stepbacks are extremely common during the process, and at some point or another, many people experience a slip or a relapse. Being able to identify your triggers and deal with them effectively can help you succeed in remaining smoke-free. Here are four common triggers and strategies you can use to combat the urge to light up.


Many smokers turn to cigarettes when they feel stressed. Over the years, they’ve subconsciously learned to take relief in the act of smoking. If periods of stress make you more prone to a slip, there are many ways to resist the urge to smoke.

Taking slow, deep breaths can have an incredibly calming effect on your nerves. Although it takes a bit of practice, once you master the proper breathing technique, you can use it in stressful situations to relieve stress. Talking a trusted friend or family member, and letting them know how you’re feeling can also be helpful as you open up and vocalize your issues. Another excellent way to reduce stress is to exercise, be it a relaxing walk in nature or intense physical activity.

Social Situations

When you give up smoking, you may find yourself missing the social aspects of smoking such as taking a smoke break with your co-workers or lighting one up after a night out. What can you do to fight the urge in those situations?

Tell your friends, family, and coworkers that you’re committed to quitting and that you’d appreciate their help in sticking to your goals. If that is not realistic in your social circle, e-cigarettes can allow you to continue to partake in social activities without resorting to using a cigarette. Available in both nicotine-containing and nicotine-free options, e-cigarettes look and feel a lot like their combustible counterparts.

Physical Cravings

When you’ve been smoking for a while, your body becomes used to a regular dose of nicotine, and when you quit, you experience physical withdrawal symptoms that can range from mild to severe. These intense cravings can manifest themselves in many ways, including sweating, nausea, intestinal cramping, headaches, difficulty concentrating, and even insomnia.

Nicotine replacement options such as the patch or the gum can help alleviate your cravings since they provide you with the nicotine that you’ve become dependent on. E-cigarettes, which are available in varying levels of nicotine, can also help assuage those withdrawal symptoms by delivering the substance without the thousands of toxic chemicals present in smoke. Using tobacco and menthol flavors can further make the switch feel a lot like cigarettes, reducing the temptation to smoke.


Many smokers relish the feeling of smoking a cigarette with their first cup of coffee in the morning or indulging in one after a meal. These habits are sometimes so ingrained that they can even rival physical withdrawal symptoms. The good news is that with willpower, you can develop new habits that are less harmful to your health.

Find another activity to replace smoking. Depending on your personality, it could be treating yourself to a latte to start your day or enjoying a cup of tea instead after dinner. Some people even take up new hobbies, such as knitting or DIY projects to keep busy.

How do you combat the urge to smoke? Tell us in the comments section below.


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