Environmental Cues and Stopping Smoking

Why is it so hard to break bad habits like stopping smoking? One reason is related to daily environmental cues. After years of smoking we become hard-wired in a way that makes it difficult to make it through the day without being exposed to environmental cues that have a tendency to trigger the urge to smoke.

Cues such as times of the day; when you first wake up, after eating, and before going to bed are all common triggers.

Smells also may precede smoking, for example, when you smell the burning of another cigarette or coffee in the morning.

People, places and things are all environmental cues that can create or precede the urge to smoke. Going to the bar Friday night, hanging out with another smoker and eating salty foods may all create cravings.

Do you know which environmental cues urge you to smoke? Take some time and identify as many as possible and write up a plan to deal with them for the next time your encounter them. Understanding environmental cues can help you stop smoking and make it through the daily cravings you’ll encounter.

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