Cravings & Triggers

Knowing your triggers will help you plan ahead and avoid cravings.


Quitting is hard. If you’re like 95% of tobacco users, you started as a teenager, which means tobacco has been part of your life for a long time. Losing cigarettes can feel like losing an old friend, and beating your nicotine addiction is only part of the challenge.


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Quitters tell us a lot about social triggers, like not going to certain bars or being around certain people. Other social triggers include seeing someone smoke or going to events where people smoke. While it can be hard, the best way to handle these triggers is to avoid them. Ask friends and family not to smoke around you and rely on your supporters.



Do you smoke with your morning coffee? Light up every time you get in the car? These are patterns in your daily life, and when you decide to quit they can trigger a craving. Other patterns included work breaks, finishing meals and drinking alcohol. Changing these patterns can reduce your triggers and make quitting easier.

Try tea instead of coffee, or drink it in a different location or at a different time.

Brush your teeth after meals.

Use sugar-free gum, mints, straws, or tooth picks.

Keep something in your pocket that you can fiddle with to keep your hands busy.


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Tobacco is often a way people cope with emotions. Stress, boredom, loneliness, depression, and happiness can all trigger cravings.