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Tracking and overcoming them

What are triggers?

Triggers are what make you want to smoke. Many things can trigger a craving to smoke like daily activities and emotions. Try tracking what makes you want to smoke. Note what you're doing and feeling when a craving strikes. Once you know that, you know your triggers – and can make changes that will help disrupt or avoid them!

Ten common triggers and tips for avoiding them

Drinking coffee

Change up your routine – drink your coffee in a different space, at a different time, stand when you drink coffee instead of sitting, or change to tea or another drink for a while.


Try resting toothpicks or cinnamon sticks in your mouth. Chew carrot sticks. Sing along to music in the car.

Getting up in the morning

Break routine – try hopping in the shower when you would usually smoke, stretch, start a new physical activity, drink water, use your stop–smoking medications.

Going on break

Change the time, try not to take breaks with someone who smokes, reach out to a friend.


Change the place you usually use for relaxing, have a healthy drink, listen to music, try deep breathing.

Finishing a meal

Get right up from the table, brush your teeth, step outside, or play a game.

Using your phone

Connect with a friend who supports your quit, play a game, listen to a podcast, recorded book, music, or try less screen time like reading a book or physical activity.

Still feel cravings?

Remember that each moment away from your last cigarette makes you stronger. Remember your reasons to quit, and talk with your healthcare provider about stop-smoking medications.
Last updated 7/2/2021 9:34 AM
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