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What triggers your smoking?

Tuesday 28 October, 2014 by Karl

Before lighting up that next cigarette, how many of us stop to think what factors might have influenced us to want to smoke in the first place?

I haven’t met too many people who say they particularly enjoy the taste of a cigarette or feel that they’re cool or fashionable by smoking, so it’s fair to say there are other more subtle reasons for doing so.

Whether it's stress, relaxing over a coffee or socialising with friends, the reality is that there are a whole host of factors that may cause a person to smoke.

For many people, having a smoke in these types of situations is almost an unconscious reflex, an automatic response to a particular smoking impulse or ‘trigger.’

So, what if there was a way of helping smokers to quit by enabling them to recognise what their particular triggers might be?

A new animated advertising campaign launched recently by Quit Victoria, seeks to do just that.

Instead of the usual graphic health warnings and imagery, Triggers does things differently by encouraging smokers to think about the types of everyday situations that often prompt their smoking.

You know – the everyday realities of modern life we’re all familiar with, like being stuck in traffic, dealing with IT problems or difficult colleagues at work or kicking back and relaxing over a drink or two on a Friday.

Let’s face it, it’s hard enough quitting at the best of times, it’s a whole lot harder if you’re trying to quit while still being confronted by the very same triggers that make you want to smoke!

The ability to recognise this and to find practical alternatives to smoking in these types situations, will ensure smokers wanting to quit will get their next attempt off to the best possible start.

So, the next time you’re feeling stressed for example, why not go for a walk, call a friend or play a game on your phone instead of reaching for that cigarette!

Top smoking triggersmale and female

(% of current smokers and recent quitters who identified the below as triggers)

1.      Being around friends who smoke (80%)

2.      Stress (78%)

3.      Parties/nights out (76%)

4.      After eating a meal (69%)

5.      Work breaks (60%)

6.      Coffee (45%)

7.      Driving (41%)

8.      Telephone calls (23%)

For more information about Triggers visit http://www.quit.org.au/staying-quit/triggers or watch the animated videos on YouTube.

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