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How should I deal with situations that lead me to smoke?

Think about the situations, people, places, and feelings that often lead you to reach for a cigarette (or a can or pouch of tobacco). These are your triggers. Some common triggers are finishing a meal, talking on the phone, or being around other people who use tobacco.

You probably can't avoid your triggers entirely. But you can take control of them before they take control of you. When your trigger hits, do something else instead of use tobacco. Sometimes it's just a matter of having something in your mouth or your hand.

Look at the list of common triggers and substitutes. Map out your own trigger taming plan.

Common triggers:
  • finishing a meal
  • talking on the phone
  • being around friends who smoke
  • feeling stressed or bored
  • riding in the car
  • sitting on the porch at the end of the day
  • going on a break from work
  • feeling angry or lonely
Common substitutes:
  • chewing some sugar-free gum
  • going someplace where you can't use tobacco
  • sucking on a straw or toothpick
  • brushing your teeth
  • fiddling with a paper clip
  • having a cup of tea or a glass of water
  • going for a walk
  • squeezing a rubber ball
  • doing some deep breathing
  • having a healthy snack: carrots, raisins, sunflower seeds
  • playing cards or computer games
  • calling a friend to talk
  • knitting

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.