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Tracking Your Smoking Urges

Smoking can become “automatic” for a lot of people. It’s important to identify some smoking patterns in your routine. That way, you can prepare for these situations and minimize the risk of a slip-up.

Think back to the times you really wanted a cigarette. If some situations are not listed below, write them down on a piece of paper and keep them in mind.

Times of the day

  • Mealtimes, or just after a meal
  • When I get home from work
  • Watching TV or listening to the radio
  • Talking on the phone
  • Having a cup of coffee or tea
  • When I first wake up
  • Walking the dog
  • At night in social settings
  • In between tasks when bored


  • Being with other smokers
  • When someone offers me a cigarette or to take a cigarette break
  • Family stress
  • Meeting a friend who smokes


  • At work
  • At home
  • Outdoors
  • At a bar or party
  • In the car
  • Leaving the gym

Stressful situations

  • Before/After a test
  • Family gatherings
  • Holidays
  • Before/After a work presentation
  • Visiting someone in the hospital
  • Before/After a job interview

Being aware of these situations will make it easier to prepare for cigarette cravings. Remember, every day is different, and cravings will pass. Making a plan for how to deal with them will help to keep your quit on track.