Posted On August 12, 2015

Soon after your morning coffee, do you have a sudden (read uncontrollable) urge to take a drag? Do you feel the need for a tobacco rush once again when getting up from your desk for a breather? Last but certainly not the least, are you trying hard to get rid of all these habits? Well, kicking the butt is easier said than done, so we don’t doubt your intentions. Specific hours of the day, social gatherings, places, emotions, and even specific food items can trigger your desire to smoke. The solution lies in recognizing these triggers. Once you learn how to identify them, it’s easier to stay away from cigarettes. Here are three simple ways that can help you decode the triggers, and nip them in the bud:

1. Take ‘Note’ of Things

Keep a notebook handy and record every time you have an urge to smoke up. Jot down stuff like craving intensity, time that you smoke, your stress levels, and whether you are happy or disturbed. Be precise in what you note to create a list of the most important triggers. Based on the records, avoid situations, people and places that stir up your desire.

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2. Recognize Social Situations

Celebrations often set off your craving for a drag, particularly in college reunions or get-togethers involving the consumption of alcohol. Several studies have revealed that more than 50 percent of college students like smoking with friends in social gatherings. Again, 71 percent smoke occasionally in a party, thanks to smoking being perceived as a fad, while 19 percent of the smoking population are chain smokers, who pick up a cigarette in any social environment. Make a conscious effort to recognize the social environment that compels you to smoke. Avoid placing yourself in the situation.

3. Let Negative Emotions Act as Alarm Bells

Feelings of despair, anger, depression, tedium and solitude are the most common triggers. Studies reveal that ‘depressed students’ are more prone to light up a cigarette than those with a jovial mood. In fact, a recent survey shows that 31.9 percent of college or teen smokers attribute their cravings as a means to assuage negative feelings. It’s in deed difficult to control such negative emotions, but leverage this situation by letting any feeling of distress act as an alarm bell for you to say NO to cigarettes. Talk to family members or friends to overcome feelings of pessimism. If nothing works, grab a chunk of dark chocolate; piling on a few extra calories is any time better than building up nicotine soot in your lungs, what say?