Smoking Triggers

Subconscious use cue extinguishment
SweetLorraine (Gold)
SweetLorraine (Gold)

December 14th, 2001, 11:55 am #26

Thanks Marty and John - I've been reading and I think I'm catching on - what I'm experiencing are not craves - just smoking memories - arising unbidden from prior conditioning - but I'm not craving a cigarette. And I can choose to think about something else - kept feeling that I should meet and greet , etc.. but they aren't triggers just memories. Whew that's better. yqf Lorraine
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Joel
Joel

December 21st, 2001, 7:55 pm #27

The upcoming holiday and preparations will often cause a number of these triggers. Don't let any of them throw you--you will survive them all and break the triggers as long as you always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

January 5th, 2002, 12:52 am #28

Weekend Triggers Are Here!
If this is your very first nicotine free weekend then keep in mind that the weekend can bring with it new situations, locations, events, emotions and the possibility of encountering unreconditioned crave habit triggers. For example, as Joel says, the Sunday newspaper is bigger and thicker and often took three or four cigarettes to read.
Keep your coping tools and plans handy and ready to go! You can handle three minutes - look at a clock! The trigger could be as subtle as ice cubes hitting the bottom of tall glass or a lazy stroll through the backyard : )) Remember, your subconscious mind is incapable of independent reasoning and just a single encounter is usually sufficient to cause it to break the trigger link and give up trying. It's amazing! Have a great weekend! YQB John : )
Last edited by John (Gold) on April 21st, 2009, 1:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Lablover (Green)
Lablover (Green)

January 27th, 2002, 6:57 pm #29

This is real - Weekend Triggers. I quit on a Tuesday and from Tuesday through Friday, my life is pretty much routine. By Friday, I was beginning to feel great and began to let my guard down on these Triggers.

On Saturday, more than once, I got hit with some of the hardest "craves", I have had. One was going to a movie theater with my non-smoking sister. Now we don't go very often but when we do, I use to hang outside the door "smoking" until she would flagg me in saying "come on the movie is starting", Then when the movie was over, I would race out the door and start puffing right away. She would wait in her car until I was done. It was like I couldn't concentrate on the end of the movie, because I was too busy worrying how patient she was going to be while I had one more smoke.

I felt all those craves come up, very strongly on Saturday. I had not anticipated them, but I do carry lollipops with me wherever I go. And as we were leaving I told her I needed a bottle of water, right away!! Drinking water haas been the best think for handling my craves. Thanks for the great trigger and crave information!
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Joel
Joel

January 27th, 2002, 7:12 pm #30

Hello Lablover:

I just wrote a reply to you, actually two replies that addresses the issue of thoughts you had not anticipated under the post "starting your first smoke free weekend." Ignore the second post there, I forgot where this one was when I went to attach a note here, but as you see now I have found it.

Joel
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Joel
Joel

March 21st, 2002, 3:42 am #31

Identifying triggers often brings a sense of relief to a person for they then understand why a particular thought is happening. But sometimes the trigger is totally unidentifiable. Whether you figure out the underlying event or circumstance or not does not really make a difference. As long as you get through it without smoking you break the trigger. How you get through the moment is the more important issue. It is not by trying not to think about it or pretending the thought is not there. It is the opposite you need to do.

Think about the cigarette, the tens of thousands of others that will go with it, and then the problems that went with those tens of thousands of cigarettes. Remember full-fledged smoking; the smells, the expense, the social ramifications, the constant withdrawals being experienced every 20 minutes or so until you were able to get your next fix, the physical problems it may have been causing or was eventually leading to. Remember how annoying they had gotten to in the end to make you initially quit.

Then remember the grip they had on you, how hard the quitting process was, whatever emotional and physical pain you went through to first quit. Remember cigarettes how they were at the end of your smoking. These memories and feelings, if accurately recalled will become very powerful tools to squelch the fantasy of a cigarette and bring back the initial motivation prompting the quit.

Once viewed in this light, these thoughts will not last long. A certain degree of relief and gratitude will be felt within seconds of focusing on smoking. Relief that it was only a thought, and gratitude to yourself that you have put that smelly, expensive, ridiculous and worst of all, deadly practice of smoking behind you. You will remain free from nicotine's powerful and deadly grip again by having once again remembered why you quit and why you decided months ago to never take another puff!

Joel
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Dida (Gold)
Dida (Gold)

April 6th, 2002, 5:18 am #32

You are so thoughtful Joel. I was reading along this string and there my name pops up. I don't particularly understand this current trigger I'm going through however I'm going to focus on, remember how it was in the first day of your quit and how awful it was......this seems to be working for me today. Perhaps another day i'll understand what it was all about but in the meantime, I don't plan on smoking today.
Thanks again.
Diana
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richard This is It GOLD
richard This is It GOLD

April 27th, 2002, 4:14 am #33

"Time doesn't teach you how not to smoke, experience does. The more thing you experience and the sooner, the more you recognize that their is life after smoking"




Who is this guy Joel... ?? he's pretty darned good, I think....
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Joel
Joel

July 9th, 2002, 12:24 am #34

For Rick. Triggers can be big events or small events--bad things happening or glorious things happenings. While triggers can come from many different things--the way to overcome each of them successfully is always the same--it is simply knowing that to stay smoke free simply requires knowing to never take another puff!

Joel
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Alyson GOLD.ffn
Alyson GOLD.ffn

July 9th, 2002, 3:00 am #35

I can't thank you enough Joel for explaining how the process works - it helps SO MUCH to understand where those lightening bolts come from.

Yesterday I was surprised by a huge crave while visiting at a friend's house. Putting my Freedom lessons to work, I embraced the crave and tried to figure out what triggered it. I realized that I had always smoked while sitting at that kitchen table, reminded myself that I can NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF, accepted that this was simply another trigger to be reconditioned and moved on!!! I was able to hold my friend's newborn daughter rather than exiling myself outside to feed my addiction!!!!! Talk about positive reinforcement!

With your support and encouragement and shared knowledge,
I remain nicotine-free for 13D17H56M.
Honored to be a member of the Freedom family,
Alyson
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Joel
Joel

August 26th, 2002, 6:49 pm #36

For Lilac:

Different people, places and activities will still trigger thoughts, all though over time new triggers become more sporadic. The trick is to always be reminding yourself of what smoking was really like, of why you first quit smoking and of why you never want to go back to the active addiction, even in those in-between times where smoking thoughts are not occurring. By constantly reminding yourself of the full implications of smoking, when you do encounter triggers you are sufficiently reinforced to squelch them and renew your commitment once again to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

August 31st, 2002, 6:00 pm #37

Sometimes the triggers don't make so much sense, at least on the surface. The trick is just to always have your guard up, being prepared daily for anything. For no matter how long you are off smoking, triggers can and will occur.
Sometimes triggers will be obvious and easy to identify, like running into an old friend who is a chain smoker and you always smoked with them in the past. Sometimes they will be less obvious though, like when it is an old friend who has always been a non-smoker. Whenever you were with them in the past, you too would never smoke because they were around. So why would they make you think of a cigarette?

Well, before you would ever go to see them, you would smoke a few extra cigarettes just to be able to stay with them a little longer. Or more likely, the trigger wouldn't happen when you first see them, but rather as soon as they would leave. More accurately, it would hit as soon as you were out of their line of vision. In the past, that is when you would instantly light up. Even though you never smoked in their presence, you were still a smoker when with them. This association will last until these initial first encounters with them breaking the pattern and mindset that you are a smoker in this particular circumstance.

As more and more time passes, experiences like this become more sporadic. But keep focused daily. When you wake up say today is another day you will not smoke. So if these rare occurrences happen, you are ready. And again at the end of the day congratulate yourself for another victorious day without smoking.

Hang in there and don't let the triggers get you. Make each one just another learning experience. The lesson, no matter what triggers a thought, to beat it, Never Take Another Puff!
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sandy
sandy

January 17th, 2003, 10:10 pm #38

Sick kids is a trigger I didn't anticipate. I have been home with sick kids for 3 days and I have had alot of thoughts about smoking. Still haven't, but it has been tough.
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MareBear GOLD
MareBear GOLD

January 18th, 2003, 1:20 am #39

Sandy, think of how much better you feel being there for your sick kids without having to step away to feed your addiction. Not to mention, you are healthier so you have a better chance of not catching what your kids have.

I hope your kids don't get sick again, but being kids they probably will, and the next time won't be so bad. Joel's list of triggers above could have been my list. Now I can do all those things without thinking of smoking (paying bills was the toughest but it was overcome!).

Last night, and into the wee hours of this morning, my husband and I were in the Veterinary emergency clinic trying to decide whether or not to put our dear kitty to sleep (we didn't--she's better, for now) and it didn't even occur to me, until I opened this thread, that I never thought about having a cigarette. We were in there for three hours and it didn't even enter my mind. It's a trigger that I overcame on a previous vet visit (unfortunately there have been many of those, but you see what I mean).
MareBear
7 1/2 months
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Joined: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

February 13th, 2003, 11:36 am #40

Very interesting thread to read on my green day. I wonder what triggers are out there that will surprise me? A thread like this is what makes all the difference in the keeping of one's educated quit.
Sal
One month, 20 hours, 37 minutes and 13 seconds.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

June 11th, 2003, 10:31 pm #41

Time distortion is a normal early recovery symptom.
Subconscious crave episodes are less than three minutes.
Be sure and look at a clock as the minutes can seem like hours!
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Lyverbyrd
Lyverbyrd

July 12th, 2003, 6:34 am #42

My first visit to the pub this evening since I quit. This is the first time in 10 years I've been out for a drink and not had a cigarette, and furthermore not even wanted one. Kewl.
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Joel
Joel

December 13th, 2003, 10:30 pm #43

The holiday season can likely pose many new triggers unique to this time of year. The way to break all of these triggers is to simply keep reminding yourself that the only way to stay successfully smoke free no matter how often you may experience these passing thoughts regarding cigarettes is to stick to the commitment that you made to yourself to never take another puff! Joel
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kattatonic1 gold4
kattatonic1 gold4

January 11th, 2004, 1:00 pm #44

Oh boy is this the truth. Just yesterday I realized I was having a craving whenever I finished doing something, almost anything. I never thought about my smoking in those terms. Finish something, smoke. Finish something, smoke. And I used to start thinking about it just before I finished. The ice cream is a great example. Thanks again for your wisdom, Joel!

Kay
Eighteen Days, 18 Hours and 30 Minutes of Freedom.
Abstaining from 375 cigarettes has saved me $120.23,
and extended my life expectancy by 1 Day and 7 Hours.
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Joel
Joel

August 8th, 2004, 3:50 am #45

From: Joel Sent: 12/17/2003 8:17 AM
Sometimes the triggers don't make so much sense, at least on the surface. The trick is just to always have your guard up, being prepared daily for anything. For no matter how long you are off smoking, triggers can and will occur. Sometimes triggers will be obvious and easy to identify, like running into an old friend who is a chain smoker and you always smoked with them in the past. Sometimes they will be less obvious though, like when it is an old friend who has always been a non-smoker. Whenever you were with them in the past, you too would never smoke because they were around. So why would they make you think of a cigarette?

Well, before you would ever go to see them, you would smoke a few extra cigarettes just to be able to stay with them a little longer. Or more likely, the trigger wouldn't happen when you first see them, but rather as soon as they would leave. More accurately, it would hit as soon as you were out of their line of vision. In the past, that is when you would instantly light up. Even though you never smoked in their presence, you were still a smoker when with them. This association will last until these initial first encounters with them breaking the pattern and mindset that you are a smoker in this particular circumstance.

As more and more time passes, experiences like this become more sporadic. But keep focused daily. When you wake up say today is another day you will not smoke. So if these rare occurrences happen, you are ready. And again at the end of the day congratulate yourself for another victorious day without smoking.

Hang in there and don't let the triggers get you. Make each one just another learning experience. The lesson, no matter what triggers a thought, to beat it, Never Take Another Puff!

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SueB911
SueB911

September 15th, 2004, 6:36 am #46

Joel, your insights continue to amaze me. I'm so glad I find these links everywhere I go on this site. Unfortunately, I can't figure out how to add them to my posts. I know - the instructions were up yesterday. I'll figure it out eventually!!! In the mean time, thanks to everyone for the support.

Sue
I have been quit for 3 Weeks, 1 Day, 16 hours, 5 minutes and 39 seconds (22 days). I have saved $68.00 by not smoking 453 cigarettes. I have saved 1 Day, 13 hours and 45 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 8/23/2004
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Joel
Joel

November 24th, 2004, 2:28 am #47

I see we have a few people who are just over the first three days now so I thought I would bring up a few posts about the thoughts for cigarettes still happening and contrast them with the demands your body was creating the first few days for nicotine, or true urges. They are different and you will find that if focused on now, the desires can be squelched. Good posts to read on the topic are:

Thoughts that seem worse than the first days urges
You said it would get better but it's just as bad!
Just think about something else?

Joel
Last edited by Joel on January 18th, 2012, 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

November 26th, 2004, 7:37 pm #48

The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally the day when the Christmas season is kicked into high gear. In many countries, even people who don't celebrate Christmas will still encounter new trigger situations surrounding the holiday. The sounds of Christmas music will permeate the stores where you shop, and Christmas decorations will begin popping up in homes and businesses. All of these sounds and sites will be new first time triggers for any person who has quit smoking any time in the past ten months. Being aware of the potential of these triggers will likely make you more prepared to get through them with minimal effort. Not all triggers though are as easy to warn people of or to prepare for.

Sometimes the triggers don't make so much sense, at least on the surface. The trick is just to always have your guard up, being prepared daily for anything. For no matter how long you are off smoking, triggers can and will occur. Sometimes triggers will be obvious and easy to identify, like running into an old friend who is a chain smoker and you always smoked with them in the past. Sometimes they will be less obvious though, like when it is an old friend who has always been a non-smoker. Whenever you were with them in the past, you too would never smoke because they were around. So why would they make you think of a cigarette?

Well, before you would ever go to see them, you would smoke a few extra cigarettes just to be able to stay with them a little longer. Or more likely, the trigger wouldn't happen when you first see them, but rather as soon as they would leave. More accurately, it would hit as soon as you were out of their line of vision. In the past, that is when you would instantly light up. Even though you never smoked in their presence, you were still a smoker when with them. This association will last until these initial first encounters with them breaking the pattern and mindset that you are a smoker in this particular circumstance.

As more and more time passes, experiences like this become more sporadic. But keep focused daily. When you wake up say today is another day you will not smoke. So if these rare occurrences happen, you are ready. And again at the end of the day congratulate yourself for another victorious day without smoking.

Hang in there and don't let the triggers get you. Make each one just another learning experience. The lesson, no matter what triggers a thought, to successfully overcome it is as simple as sticking to your personal commitment to Never Take Another Puff!
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GoldenDivamom1972
GoldenDivamom1972

January 24th, 2005, 8:22 am #49

*ding, ding* Well, this one hits home! I was doing serious housecleaning today, the first time I've done *serious* housecleaning since I quit. Just after I finished vacuuming, I had a teeny-weeny urge to sit down and light up before I moved on. Yep, it takes me about 20-30 minutes to vacuum my house, lol.

Amy
Free and Healing for Twenty Days, 12 Hours and 57 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 2 Days and 3 Hours, by avoiding the use of 616 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $154.18.
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coryw42
coryw42

February 5th, 2005, 7:09 am #50

I have had only two cravings today and both were after I ate. This morning was the first time since I quit smoking 8 days ago that I did not crave a cigarette when I woke up. I even crave a cigarette right before I clean my cat's litter box, yep, use to smoke one every time i cleaned that box. Had a cigarette burning while I use to do the dishes also, so sad.

I have done a lot of drugs when I was much younger, but nothing I have done even comes close to the effects of giving up smoking, it is so powerful. One day at a time, that is how I am dealing with it, one day at a time.

It's amazing how many people smoke, I bet 95% of the people that were in my office yesterday smoked. I could smell it on them and the thought that I use to smell like that just sickens me.

My son called me today to tell me how proud he was of me for making it over a week so far, that call made this day just a little bit easier.

Cory
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