Avoiding Smoking Triggers
Avoiding Smoking Triggers
You've just quit tobacco, but there are certain times of the day or certain events that make you want to go running for a smoke or chew. It may be after a meal, when you're bored or stressed, or at a party. These events are called triggerspeople, places, or things you associate with smokingand they happen to most people who try to quit. But with practice, you can overcome smoking triggers and be successful in your quit plan. Follow the advice below for dealing with some triggers and you'll be well on your way.
In the Morning: Move your butt! Don't just lounge in the bed. Get up. Take a shower, jog to the mess hall, or spit shine those boots. If you absolutely must stay in bed, keep gum, straws, or flavored toothpicks by the bed to help curb the cigarette craving.
With Coffee: Trade that joe! If you've been eyeing that French silk coffee for the past few weeks in the commissary and were afraid to try it, take the plunge. Switching up with flavored coffees or decaf can help you prevent smoking triggers. Or try some teas. And now's the time to trade in your cracked cup for that personalized stainless steel travel mug.
After a Meal: Freshen up! Leave the table after a meal and brush your teeth. Use some baking soda or mouthwash for that extra clean feeling. Also, try eating meals in different areas of the mess hall to help break the link between meals and smoking or chewing tobacco. Or eat out at places that don't allow smoking. Eating several small meals instead of one or two large ones will help keep your energy in balance and help prevent the urge to smoke a cigarette or chew tobacco. Avoid sugary or spicy foods.
Due to Stress: Overworked? Overwhelmed? Get your game on! Go play basketball, swim, or strap on a rock-filled backpack for a 10-mile run for stress release. If there's a deck of cards nearby, play alone or ask a friend. Hobbies help, too. Put together that 1,000-piece puzzle in your locker. If you can't get away, try deep breathing. Imagine filling your lungs with fresh, clean air.
Due to Boredom: Reach out! Talk to someone who will support you in your efforts to quit smoking and chewing. You can engage in a live chat with our tobacco cessation coaches, read our stop smoking stories, or interact with other ex-smokers. Do other activities that will engage you in some way. Change your surroundings by getting up and walking around. Or start researching a new hobby you've always wanted to try.
After a Date: Veg out! Your date went better than expected. Instead of grabbing a cigarette, grab a plate of grapes, celery sticks, and cheddar. In a recent study, smokers found that cigarettes tasted worse after they drank water or juice and after they ate fruit, vegetables, or dairy products. Ahh...the power of cheese.
At a Party: Get busy! Keep your mind occupied by helping the host or hostess. Offer to hang up coats, refill platters, or introduce guests. Be sure to bring along friends who don't smoke, dip, or chew so you'll have someone to talk to when you get the urge. Stay away from alcohol by sticking with soda or punch and munching on low-calorie snacks. If you need something in your hand, try a long straw or lollipop stick.
Before Bedtime: Chill! If the sight of your pillow makes you want to puff, take five. Light incense or a candle and breathe in the soothing aroma. Put on your favorite songs. Allow yourself to relax and visualize yourself as a successful non-tobacco user. You've come too far to quit nowyou can do it!
Test your knowledge and take the Be Trigger-Free Quiz.