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List of smoking triggers

 
 
Reply Wed 5 Aug, 2009 03:56 pm
A little over two weeks ago I quit smoking cigarettes and despite knowing the literature of how addictive nicotine is I was pretty surprised at how strong the addiction was in my own case (smoked for around 15 years) and how much it means to my daily routine.

I found a lot of smoking triggers that I didn't expect to be as powerful as they are (e.g. driving) and want to start compiling a list. If you smoke or have quit smoking then feel free to add yours.
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Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Aug, 2009 03:57 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

A little over two weeks ago I quit smoking cigarettes and despite knowing the literature of how addictive nicotine is I was pretty surprised at how strong the addiction was in my own case (smoked for around 15 years) and how much it means to my daily routine.

I found a lot of smoking triggers that I didn't expect to be as powerful as they are (e.g. driving) and want to start compiling a list. If you smoke or have quit smoking then feel free to add yours.


I'm 5 years off of tobacco, a pack a day for 5 years before that.

Hunger, boredom, no gum, annoyance - all triggers for me. Walking outside between classes during college was tough with no cig.

But I'm past all that now, you will be too, congrats to you for making the best damn choice of your life. I don't miss it.

Cycloptichorn
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Aug, 2009 03:59 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Waking up - mainly due to not smoking all night
Eating - mainly due to the dillution of nicotine in your bloodstream but also due to the taste residue in your mouth
Drinking - see above, especially true with coffee, hot chocolate, beer and alcohol but even drinking water can do it
Driving - Seems I really liked smoking when driving
Talking on the phone - one of those "fill time" ones
Sex - Also exercise, one of the more powerful triggers
Restaurants and bars - I don't think I can tolerate bars without smoking (not much of a drinker) but I'm even seeking out non-smoking areas of restaurants now
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Aug, 2009 04:02 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
But I'm past all that now, you will be too, congrats to you for making the best damn choice of your life. I don't miss it.


To be perfectly honest, I think the triggers will go away but I think I will always miss the enjoyment. Sex, drugs and rock and roll sucks without the drugs.
eoe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Aug, 2009 04:04 pm
Everything triggers it, as your list pretty much illustrates. But your will overrides the urge and it will get easier if you're determined that you will never, ever put another cigarette to your lips. Ever. I smoked for 27 years, approximately 1 1/2 packs a day but at one point almost 3 packs a day. I gave them up in 2001.

I do miss it but it's like an old lover who was great in the sack but an overall lousy person. You know you'd never go back to them, not even if they were the last one on earth, but that doesn't stop you from remembering that crazy little thing they did in bed that drove you wild!

And you will come to enjoy everything without the cigarettes. I promise you.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Aug, 2009 04:07 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

Cycloptichorn wrote:
But I'm past all that now, you will be too, congrats to you for making the best damn choice of your life. I don't miss it.


To be perfectly honest, I think the triggers will go away but I think I will always miss the enjoyment. Sex, drugs and rock and roll sucks without the drugs.


Who said you have to give up drugs? Just do what I do and smoke some good dope, it's much better for ya in the long run than the tobacco, which is wacko.

Cycloptichorn
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Aug, 2009 04:07 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Another big one I missed on my list is marijuana. I also am taking a break from marijuana because of the pairing with cigarettes. I've smoked marijuana as long as I smoked cigarettes and managed to pair the two. Without marijuana the cigarettes weren't as good and without the cigarettes the nicotine wasn't there.

I doubt I'll give up on marijuana forever, but I may stop using it as medication (for the last 15 years there might have been 60 days I didn't smoke) because I want my brain back. Spending every waking minute high for 15 years was great fun, and it didn't impede me enough to prevent me from getting what I wanted in life, but because of how it affects short-term memory being high all the time has a big impact on long-term memory. I was a hell of a lot sharper 15 years ago, and I'd like to figure out what is aging and what is marijuana.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Aug, 2009 04:09 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Who said you have to give up drugs? Just do what I do and smoke some good dope, it's much better for ya in the long run than the tobacco, which is wacko.


I was talking about nicotine, but also see my post about marijuana. That is a paired substance for me, and also something I've more dependence on than I want.
eoe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Aug, 2009 04:09 pm
@Robert Gentel,
As I said earlier, you will come to enjoy everything without the ciggies. Trust me.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Aug, 2009 04:10 pm
@eoe,
eoe wrote:
I do miss it but it's like an old lover who was great in the sack but an overall lousy person. You know you'd never go back to them, not even if they were the last one on earth, but that doesn't stop you from remembering that crazy little thing they did in bed that drove you wild!

And you will come to enjoy everything without the cigarettes. I promise you.


Yup, I know I won't have the triggers but the first part I quoted is what I think won't go away every. Smoking is great fun except for the health and addiction part.
0 Replies
 
eoe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Aug, 2009 04:13 pm
You will learn to have fun doing everything you want to do without the cigarettes and look back on all of this concern with amused wonder.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Aug, 2009 04:15 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

Cycloptichorn wrote:
Who said you have to give up drugs? Just do what I do and smoke some good dope, it's much better for ya in the long run than the tobacco, which is wacko.


I was talking about nicotine, but also see my post about marijuana. That is a paired substance for me, and also something I've more dependence on than I want.


Yeah, hadn't seen that. That's rough, giving up both at once, I couldn't do it.

For me, smoking a good joint gave me that 'inhaling' sensation that I craved, at least during the part where I was moving away from ciggies.

Cycloptichorn
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Aug, 2009 04:17 pm
Bill Evans Trio just started playing, and that reminded me of another: music!

Especially jazz, I used to visualize some kinds of jazz music as smoke trails in the air and almost always would save a cigarette for a particularly good song when I am jamming.

Marijuana actually alters music perception, which is how music got paired to cigarettes for me but cigarettes are a big part of jazz for me and I'm going to miss it. I think I'm gonna have to give Thelonious et all a breather as well.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Aug, 2009 04:20 pm
i quit cold turkey after about twenty years of smoking (with a two year break in the middle), when i quit i was smoking about two packs a day (40 cigarettes), the worst time for me in the first few years was a night out a bar (back when you could still smoke in a bar), a cigarette and a beer just seemed to go together

i'm not one of those anti smoker non smokers, in fact i love to be near someone when they light up a cigarette, that first sweet smell of smoke still gets me every time
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Aug, 2009 04:22 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Yeah, hadn't seen that. That's rough, giving up both at once, I couldn't do it.

For me, smoking a good joint gave me that 'inhaling' sensation that I craved, at least during the part where I was moving away from ciggies.


Well I didn't do it and am not sure I could have either. During the last two weeks the inhaling and taste of smoke from marijuana were a big help when the cigarette "hunger" (it felt very similar to the times I spent hungry to me) hit.

I intend to smoke weed in the future but just want to break my dependence on it. I was smoking well over 4 ounces a month of the top grade stuff. I personally think one ounce a month is already very heavy use (several times daily already) and where I was at was getting a bit ridiculous.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Aug, 2009 04:24 pm
This far away from quitting, it's a kind of residual pleasure to list some triggers for me.

- getting a phone call
- making a phone call
- waiting for the sugars: this was typical of old fashioned laboratory tests, usually done with a timer on the lab table, one per test you were setting up. All I remember about doing sugars is the time for part of it, which was six minutes where you could more or less rest. Similar with other routine lab test setups (this presupposes one could still smoke at work). unless you had more than one or two runs of tests going at the same time
- waiting for the waiter to bring the food (this presupposes you could smoke in restaurants). Lighting the cigarette would cause the waiter to show up.
- leaving a place, typically a restaurant or theater, but just about any place
- you'd think I'd say sex, meaning after sex, but no, or at least not to the extent of the age old joke
- setting up a canvas and starting to paint, the first "breaking of the white plane" ; off and on while painting however many hours. They went together, then/
- oddly, didn't do this while drawing, fine art type, or while drafting, architecture type. Did smoke when fooling around with ideas in a scribbling way: again, it was part of the process for quick sketch thinking until I quit cigs.
- sitting around bs'ing with friends, on and on
- sitting in a patio overlooking the ocean (or other view)
- highway driving, especially if free and easy, as when one has just gone through some hairy freeway interchange and are now on the straightaway
- deplaning, back then, as in reaching the tarmac
- ordering a drink, then getting the drink - that one was hard to eradicate as a trigger
- needing to make a decision
- needing to think about something I'd preferred to avoid
- the sight of a good looking lighter, there having been some fancy lighters out there back in the day, my favorite being a silver one that was a gift. Also caught my hair on fire with it.

I'll probably think of more, that's a start.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Aug, 2009 04:26 pm
@djjd62,
djjd62 wrote:
i'm not one of those anti smoker non smokers


I totally get that. Smoking rocks, it just sucks more than it rocks at some point. Now that you can't smoke in airplanes (I still remember stuffing weed in clove cigarettes on some memorable flights!), bars and restaurants it became a liability for me. Traveling a full day without smoking was torture for me, and quite frankly if there weren't so many places where you can't smoke (like California) I'd probably not bother to quit.

The biggest reason I wanted to quit is how it made me feel when I don't have cigarettes. Otherwise I don't really care about the health part, and have always preferred to live harder and shorter. But I don't want anything to have that much control over me.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Aug, 2009 04:29 pm
Hmm, talking about smoking is also a trigger. I can even taste it now.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Aug, 2009 04:30 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

Cycloptichorn wrote:
Yeah, hadn't seen that. That's rough, giving up both at once, I couldn't do it.

For me, smoking a good joint gave me that 'inhaling' sensation that I craved, at least during the part where I was moving away from ciggies.


Well I didn't do it and am not sure I could have either. During the last two weeks the inhaling and taste of smoke from marijuana were a big help when the cigarette "hunger" (it felt very similar to the times I spent hungry to me) hit.

I intend to smoke weed in the future but just want to break my dependence on it. I was smoking well over 4 ounces a month of the top grade stuff. I personally think one ounce a month is already very heavy use (several times daily already) and where I was at was getting a bit ridiculous.


Dude yeah, that's a lot! And the worst part is that it's all about the tolerance buildup; you probably don't get any more stoned than I, and I smoke maybe a quarter ounce per month, tops. I've been at yer level before though and all I can remember is being really popular with my friends, and that it was expensive!

Cycloptichorn
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Aug, 2009 04:31 pm
A lot of it is conditioning and habit. For the first year I had to replace cigarettes with cinnamon sticks to help me get over many years of habit and conditioning. Even now, 14 years later, I sometimes have an urge for a cigarette when I'm at the computer doing some intense, focused data entry or typing. I still keep cinnamon sticks around but usually just have a glass of ice water to sip whenever I would have otherwise smoked.

Getting over the conditioned response while driving didn't happen until I finally got rid of the tobacco smell in my car by having the interior professionally detailed.
 

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