You’ll be more likely to succeed if you stay away from triggers, or the things make you want to smoke. It won’t be this way forever. But for now, here are some common triggers that you may want to avoid or modify:
- Alcohol. Some people choose to stay away from alcohol when they are in the early stages of quitting smoking, because they connect smoking and drinking. Alcohol also makes you feel less inhibited, which can make it harder for you to stick to your plan of staying smoke-free.
- Coffee. Many people associate coffee with smoking. If that sounds like you, then breaking that connection is crucial. Try drinking your coffee in a different room, or do something else that keeps your hands busy, such as texting a friend, visiting the QuitNet feed, or doing a crossword puzzle. You may even want to switch up your morning drink completely, because caffeine can make you jittery when you quit. Some ex-smokers switch to tea or drink ice-cold water instead.
- Other people who are smoking. Seeing other people light up can be a real challenge if you’re trying not to smoke. Of course, sometimes it’s impossible to avoid all the smokers in your life. In these cases, you’ll need to have a plan for what to do if you’re hit with a craving.
- Driving. You can’t stop driving, no matter how committed you are to becoming a nonsmoker! But it’s a good idea to make your car quit-friendly. Keep it free of cigarettes and lighters, and clean out the ashtray. Keep gum and mints in the car instead.
You may have some other triggers that aren’t listed here – most smokers do. Give some thought to what they are and how you’ll avoid them. It’s time well spent, because it can help you successfully quit.
Medical review: Nathan Cobb, MD, November 6, 2017