A dependence on nicotine is a physical challenge to overcome. But smoking is also a behavioral challenge. That's because for many people, smoking becomes a routine part of daily life. Certain people, places, feelings, events, and even moods – called "triggers" or "smoking risk situations" – are linked with smoking.
Smoking Routines Become Smoking Triggers
Do you smoke a cigarette because you have a cup of coffee? Or do you have a cup of coffee so you can smoke a cigarette? For many people, it's hard to know. That's why a smoking routine may become a smoking trigger.
Smoking Routines May Be Automatic
Everything you do creates pathways or connections in the brain. Let's say you routinely smoke in the kitchen. You're actually training your brain to know that the kitchen is a place to smoke. Eventually, if you walk into the kitchen, your brain will have an automatic response to light up.
Behaviors Can Be Changed
Because nicotine addiction and smoking routines can make quitting a physical and a behavioral challenge, it's important to have a plan in place. That way you can be better prepared for both the urge to smoke and smoking routines. The Plan-to-Quit Cards you'll find on this site are simple yet effective tools that can help you identify smoking routines and help you develop quit strategies.