How can I identify my smoking triggers?

Samantha Reid
Health Education
To identify your smoking triggers, keep a journal and record your cigarettes for a few days. You should record time, how you felt, and what you were doing when you had the craving. Then go back and see if you have any trends, any common themes. Also, talking to a support system or finding a resource in your community to help you identify the triggers can help.

Have you ever thought about why you smoke? Maybe it’s just a habit, but most likely there are specific triggers, such as moods, feelings, places, people, or situations that make you want to smoke. Maybe you smoke out of boredom, or maybe it’s a social activity for you. There are many reasons why people smoke. Whatever your reasons, identifying your triggers will help you anticipate circumstances before you light your next cigarette - so you can choose not to smoke and try doing something else instead.

Next time you reach for a cigarette, think about why you are smoking. Keep a log of reasons why you smoke, and then, next to each reason write down an alternate activity you can do instead. For example, if you smoke to keep your hands busy, try occupying your hands with a worry stone or squeezable stress ball instead. Next time your smoking trigger comes up, you’ll be prepared with a strategy to avoid smoking.

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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.