Tips to help you avoid that burning temptation to light up

Coffee, alcohol, stress… are all common triggers that might have you reaching for the cigarettes. Here we give you some tips to help you avoid that burning temptation.

Once you have quit smoking, staying off the cigarettes can be really hard. This is why it often takes people a couple of attempts to quit. 

If you’ve decided to quit smoking it’s a good idea to consider what triggers you have and then, consider some strategies to help you cope with these triggers.

Common triggers and strategies to help

Bupa’s National Medical Director, Dr Rob Grenfell, says the main focus behind understanding your triggers is to change the behavior associated with each trigger. So for instance if you’re used to having a cigarette at break times why not watch a funny video or go for a short walk instead to replace your old behavior of smoking with a new healthier one. 

Everyone’s triggers are different, but here are some common ones and some strategies that you might like to try:

1.  Have a break from work, studying or the kids 

Instead of having a cigarette why not try:
  • Watching You Tube or checking out your Facebook news feed
  • Going for a walk around the block.
  • Having a healthy snack such as an apple. 
  • Walking over to the kitchen and drinking a glass of water. 
2.  Finishing a meal

Instead of having a cigarette why not try:
  • Having a healthy dessert or some sugar free sweets. 
  • Cleaning up the dinner plates straight away.
  • Doing a puzzle or answering some trivia questions. 
3.  Coffee

Instead of having a cigarette why not try:
  • Checking your social media feed whilst having your coffee. 
  • Reading a newspaper or magazine whilst having your coffee.
  • Having a chat over coffee with a friend who doesn’t smoke.
person holding a cigarette driving

4.  Stress 

Instead of having a cigarette why not try:
  • Downloading a meditation app and try meditation for 5 minutes. 
  • Go for a 5 minute walk around the block.
  • Have a debrief with a friend – they may even be able to help. 
5.  Sitting in traffic or waiting for public transport

Instead of having a cigarette why not try:
  • Download an interesting podcast or audio book and listen to this instead. 
  • Use hands free and call a friend or family member you haven’t spoken to in a while. 
  • Sucking on some sugar free sweets 
  • Read a new book (but only if you’re on public transport!) 
6.  Social activities that typically involve alcohol

This can be one of the biggest triggers! Why not try giving up alcohol for the first couple of months and challenge your friends to do the same. There are lots of fun activities that don’t involve alcohol such as:

  • Going to the movies or the theatre 
  • Going for a walk or playing a game of kick around in the park
  • Spending the day at a spa. 
There are many more ideas you could try. So feel free to experiment and choose strategies that fit in with your life and work for you
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