Assess Your Smoking Habit
by Amy Scholten, MPH
Smoking is not only a physical addiction but a psychological addiction (used as a coping mechanism) and habit (reinforcement through repetition). Many people who have successfully quit smoking say that they found it helpful to understand their individual smoking habit. They learned about why and when they smoked before developing strategies for coping. You probably haven't spent much time thinking about your own smoking habit, but you can start now by looking at the times, places and moods that influence when you reach for a cigarette.
Why do I smoke?
Using a rating scale of 1 to 5 (1 = never, 2 = sometimes, 3 = often, 4 = very frequently, and 5 = always), answer the following questions:
Total your scores on the following groups of questions. Your highest scores will show you which aspects of smoking are the most problematic for you, so that you can develop alternatives.
Your total score on questions 1, 6, and 13: ———
Your total score on questions 3, 7, and 14: ———
Your total score on questions 4, 11, and 16: ———
Your total score on questions 5, 8, and 18:
Your total score on questions 2, 10, and 15: ———
Your total score on questions 9, 12, and 17:
What triggers my smoking?
Your smoking triggers are the situations and actions that urge you to reach for a cigarette. The following is a list of common triggers for smokers. Check the ones that bring on your urge to smoke.
—Getting out of bed.
—Sitting at the table.
—Driving, or sitting in the car.
—Going to work.
—Waiting at a bus stop, train station, subway or airport.
—Taking a break at work.
—Dealing with a stressful situation at work.
—Having a drink.
—Being at a social event.
—Dealing with a stressful situation at home.
—Other situations, list all that apply:
How can I cope?
Distract yourself from the urge to smoke for a few minutes and the urge often goes away. Here are some ideas for coping with your triggers:
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