Rearranging Your Routine

Changing Routines When You Quit Smoking

When you’re quitting smoking, you might think that the best way to stay on track is to simply avoid situations you know are likely to trigger a nicotine craving – for example, you might stay away from a friend who smokes, or skip alcoholic drinks for a while.

While this is a great strategy, the reality is there are some situations you simply can’t avoid.


Example: Smoking After a Meal

One example of an ‘unavoidable’ situation – and a common smoking trigger – is after a meal.

If you’ve always had a cigarette after a meal, you may get a craving at this time. Of course, you can’t avoid eating, but you can change your meal time routine, such as:

  • Sitting in a different place to normal
  • Changing the type of food you have
  • Having a shower after your meal
  • Going for a walk after your meal
  • Doing the washing up after eating

Even a small change to your routine can be beneficial, as your brain learns that ‘after a meal’ no longer means ‘having a smoke’.

This same trick applies to any unavoidable situation where you’d normally have a cigarette.


How to Change Your Smoking Routines

Ask yourself these questions to think about how to change your usual smoking routines:

If I usually smoke first thing in the morning, how can I change my routine at that time?

If I usually smoke with my morning coffee, is there a way I can alter my coffee routine?

If I usually smoke when I have a work break, what routine changes could I make at that time?

Try it and see what works best for your quit smoking attempt.

Some situations are more likely to trigger a smoking craving. Find out about common smoking triggers so you can be prepared.

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