Everyday Situations Can Cause Relapses

Most people who have tried to quit are well aware that quitting can be an intense battle. One reason is due to the severity of cravings and the role that cravings play in putting us at risk for relapse. A recent survey found that almost nine out of ten smokers (87 percent) who quit smoking started again because of everyday "situational cravings" and more than 3/4 of smokers (80 percent) believe they could quit
if they were able to get through their daily cravings.

Situations in which we tend to smoke include everyday circumstances such as driving in the car, talking on the phone, or drinking coffee. Our brains have made a false connection between performing these activities and lighting up. After they are repeated on a daily basis for years, they seem to just go hand in hand. When we quit, it may seem like something is missing for a while until our brains erase the false connections we made.

When you are making your quit smoking plan, be sure to consider the things that have become connected to smoking. In fact, it is important to make a list of these connections and to think about what you are going to do when you are drinking that cup of coffee and all of a sudden get a huge craving for a cigarette.

Next, let's talk about some ways to deal with those cravings that can hit you like a ton of bricks.

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About the Author

MA, MAppSci, PhD

Dr. Jonathan Foulds is an expert in the field of tobacco addiction.