What situations are high-risk for a recovering smoker?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Think about the situations when you most want to light up. Think about the people, places or things that were part of your smoking life. These are smoking triggers. Maybe you had a smoke whenever you walked the dog, got into the car, took a coffee break with your smoking buddies, or enjoyed drinks with friends. You need to deal with these triggers borne of habit and tradition.

If your friends still smoke, you can either avoid seeing them, which is not practical, or ask them to stop smoking in front of you. If they can't, you'll need to excuse yourself while they indulge. If getting in the car makes you think about smoking, fill your ashtray with potpourri or pictures of your kids. You may also need to be on the lookout for stressful, potentially triggering situations so you can make a mental or physical escape plan in advance.
A high-risk situation for a smoker is any situation that triggers the urge to smoke. For many people, situations that cause boredom and stress are high-risk. Others want to reach for a cigarette when they’re drinking alcohol or coffee. Being around other smokers while they're smoking is also a high-risk situation for a former smoker.

Smokers can achieve success by avoiding their triggers and finding ways to avoid boredom and stress, such as taking up a new hobby and using relaxation techniques, such as yoga, to reduce stress.
Dr. Robin Miller, MD
Internal Medicine
There are several situations that put a recovering smoker at high risk of smoking. Stress, being around other smokers, following the usual smoker routines, and drinking (which often accompanies smoking) can be a problem. Avoiding these high-risk situations are really important as a part of a successful smoking cessation program.

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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.