Key to Quitting Smoking: Recognizing Triggers
It is something we have heard time and again, from the people who have tried – and are still trying – to do it: quitting smoking is easier said than done.
The important thing to remember, however, is that regardless of how difficult it may be to kick the cigarette habit, it is something that is not impossible, especially for those who have the right level of determination, resources, and support.
A strategy that can be employed by those who wish to quit smoking is to find one’s smoking triggers, or things that ignite an urge to smoke, and manage them.
Steven Schroeder, MD, director of the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center at the University of California, San Francisco, shared: “For long-time smokers, daily life can be filled with triggers.” Triggers may include certain places, times of the day, foods, and activities.
These triggers may make giving up one’s cigarette habit difficult, but once a determined smoker recognizes what these triggers are and makes a conscious effort to avoid or defuse them, he or she may very well be on the right path towards a smoke-free life.
Triggers, the article shared, are a type of conditioned response. For instance, if one usually has a cigarette during a coffee break, than one may associate the smell of coffee with smoking. Scott McIntosh, PhD, associate professor of community and preventive medicine at the University of Rochester in New York and director of the Greater Rochester Area Tobacco Cessation Center shared, however, that these responses can be broken.
“If you’re used to smoking in the car, for example, practice driving short distances without smoking. If coffee triggers a craving, practice taking your coffee break without having a cigarette. Have a glass of wine but don’t accompany it with a cigarette. Focus on breaking your own most powerful triggers in advance of quitting,” McIntosh said.Tags: identify smoking cravings, quit smoking, quit smoking habit, stop smoking