Smoking Triggers

Subconscious use cue extinguishment
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

21 Mar 2002, 03:42 #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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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

06 Apr 2002, 05:18 #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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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

27 Apr 2002, 04:14 #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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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

09 Jul 2002, 00:24 #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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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

09 Jul 2002, 03:00 #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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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

26 Aug 2002, 18:49 #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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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

31 Aug 2002, 18:00 #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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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:42

17 Jan 2003, 22:10 #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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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

18 Jan 2003, 01:20 #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: 16 Jan 2003, 08:00

13 Feb 2003, 11:36 #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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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

11 Jun 2003, 22:31 #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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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

12 Jul 2003, 06:34 #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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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

13 Dec 2003, 22:30 #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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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

11 Jan 2004, 13:00 #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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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

08 Aug 2004, 03:50 #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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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:06

15 Sep 2004, 06:36 #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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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

24 Nov 2004, 02:28 #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 18 Jan 2012, 18:14, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

26 Nov 2004, 19:37 #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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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

24 Jan 2005, 08:22 #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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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:12

05 Feb 2005, 07:09 #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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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:41

30 Apr 2005, 06:24 #51

I LOVE THIS WEB SITE ---
I was doing a serious scrubbing of my kitchen ( the kind you do before company arrives) and got hit with this horrendous crave ---- It was bad --- took a few deep breaths and tried to think WHY now??? It's been a pretty good day . So I remembered some of the things that I had read on triggers and realized that this is the first time that I had done this since I quit. Normally I would have taken a butt break (or 2 or 3.....)
Came to the computer instead and found this discussion .. When I read what Amy wrote, I almost fell off the chair. I really love Freedom and the support system that it provides.. Thanks everyone
Anne Joy
One week, two days, 19 hours, 53 minutes and 14 seconds. 235 cigarettes not smoked, saving $64.87. Life saved: 19 hours, 35 minutes.
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

11 Jul 2005, 10:37 #52

"It is important to do these things though to break the triggers. Time doesn't teach you how not to smoke, experience does. The more things you experience and the sooner, the more you recognize that there is life after smoking."

Joel
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Joined: 16 Jan 2003, 08:00

01 Feb 2006, 05:19 #53

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

No matter what triggers occur, all that you need to do to overcome it and learn a new experience as an ex-smoker is to Never Take Another Puff!

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

12 Apr 2006, 08:05 #54

I had crazy triggers all day today. I was craving like never before. I couldn't understand what was going on. Then I realized. Today was Opening day for Baseball here. I associate baseball season with smoking. I associate everything sports related with smoking.

Because I was educated about such things, I survived. It was tough today, I can't lie and say it wasn't. It was brutal. But I didn't smoke, and I am so happy.

Two weeks, 9 hours, 6 minutes and 27 seconds. 575 cigarettes not smoked, saving $158.17. Life saved: 1 day, 23 hours, 55 minutes.
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Joined: 16 Jan 2003, 08:00

11 Aug 2006, 09:08 #55

From above:
It is important to do these things though to break the triggers.

Time doesn't teach you how not to smoke, experience does.

The more things you experience and the sooner, the more you recognize that there is life after smoking.

Don't let it get you down, acknowledge the crave, recognize you don't want to be a smoker and congratulate yourself for overcoming another trigger.

Never take another puff!
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