Triggers are the things that make you want to smoke or vape. Different people have different triggers. Common triggers include: your morning coffee, drinking alcohol, social gatherings, being around other people smoking or vaping, breaks at work, driving
in your car, and of course stress, worry and emotional or physical discomfort.
Sometimes people use tobacco in order to find relief from present and past painful memories, grief, trauma, or injustice. While using commercial tobacco in this way is understandable, in these cases smoking or vaping contributes to a cycle of harm, where
it is used to relieve pain in the short term while only causing even more damage in the long term.
There is no simple solution to breaking this cycle, but by being aware of the way commercial tobacco use is tied to these kinds of triggers can help lead you toward a more holistic way of healing.
Knowing your triggers and understanding the best way to deal with them is a good place to start.
Here are some types of triggers you might encounter:
An emotional trigger reminds you how you felt when you used smoking to enhance a good mood or escape a bad one, like feeling stressed, bored, excited or lonely.
This could be when you are around other people who smoke or vape like going to a bar or attending a community celebration.
This is an activity that you connect with smoking or vaping like drinking alcohol, after a meal, or on a work break.
Once you better understand your triggers, identify the ones that will be a challenge for you and make a plan to manage them. Here are some strategies to keep in mind:
AVOID what you cannot handle.
Example: If you are strongly inclined to smoke when you meet a friend for a drink where you have always met, arrange to meet somewhere else.
ALTER - make a new response to the situation.
Example: If this friend always offers you a cigarette or a puff of their vape product, you might politely tell them, in advance of the meeting, that you have quit and to not offer even though you know you would like to.
ACCEPT If the situation can't be changed in any way, find a way to be more accepting of it.
Example: You could say to yourself: "This is a challenge. It won't last forever. I will get through it"