Triggers versus reasons

We all have reasons to quit. Health, money, slavery, social status etc. are all great reasons to quit, but what about triggers?

I would think it rare for anyone to sit down one day and have a rational conversation with themselves, and decide that based on the fact that smoking is expensive, known to cause health issues, binds you to an established routine, and makes you look (increasingly) like a social outcast, it is best for them to give up.

I don't think it happens like that, or at least not very often. Try as we may to come up with reasons to quit, I think that most often we are triggered into action, based on some specific event, after all that logical thinking about reasons to stop has been done and digested.

Triggers might be something like:

- A friend stopped, so that motivated me to try.

- A family member / friend who smoked passed away.

- I ran out of breath while climbing the stairs / doing exercise.

- Someone told me I was killing myself by smoking.

- I felt guilty smoking in front of my children.

- My partner stopped and I wanted to follow suit.

I guess I'm looking to see if there was a Eureka moment (the trigger)?

Certainly for me there was, because I was hospitalized and it scared the sh*t out of me.

To get to the point, did you sit down and have a rational conversation with yourself and then quit, or did something specific occur to precipitate your quit? If so, what happened to tip your thoughts from reason into action?

Alex.

20 Replies

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  • I had flu which turned into a bad chest infection....I simply couldn't smoke, it was too painful. I was also scared it was something more sinister. I relapsed after a few days but read Alan Carr's book, byt the end of it I'd stopped smoking. This was the third winter I'd had chest infections and the doc said it was my bodies way of saying I can't cope with bugs with crapped up lungs from smoking, and if you carry on any longer the damage will be too much. So I suppose being ill and being worried about my health gave me the impetus to quit.

  • Hi Alex

    I had cramps in my arms every night in bed that woke me,

    I have 3 children of my own and 1 foster child and I just thought WHO is going to look after them and love them the way I do,

    so I gave myself to the end of Jan,

    last fag 4th of Feb, :o

    wish I had known about this site to help me through first few months.

    x

  • Took me 3 fags one after the other before I could get a proper smoke because the cough was so bad.Eyes running as I leaned over the sink splutter and going dizzy. My chest was rattling like an old steam train constantly.

    How much more warning do you need.

    It had to stop an it aint coming back. Ever

  • I didn't have a specific trigger that caused me to quit. I did have that rational conversation the OP spoke of, at least in part.

    There were too many things that smoking was ruining in my life - relationships, a nagging cough, my smelly apartment, and perhaps most of all, my growing awareness of a loss of self esteem.

    I kept thinking about quitting, and thinking, and thinking. Finally I just said, you know what? Enough is enough. I'm quitting.

    A quick Google search brought me to this site. I discovered the site was making some kind of hullaballoo about quitting on March 14, which was two days away at the time.

    That's all I needed. I quit on March 14.

  • Totally agree Alex...I was thinking about it as I knew I had my op...but the trigger was my son putting that E-Cig in my hand the day after his 52yr old Dad died of lung cancer from smoking..I stopped the next morning..but have had about 10 drags in all on the E-Cig lol doing it with patches..xx

  • Hi Alex

    I started walking to my work twice a week about 8 weeks ago and as i was walking i started thinking about how much i didnt want a cigarette. The day before i quit i didnt have cigarettes in the house so me and my daughter went out for a walk into our local town (45mins) and i bought them. By the time i got home etc it was 2 oclock and thats when i had my first cigarette of the day and i thought what am i doing?? Next day decided to smoke my last cigarette hopefully it was

    Kirsty x

  • Absolutely. Oldies will know this story, but I was coming down with a case of (genuine!) flu and was standing in my garden desperately trying to smoke a rollup, and coughing so badly I couldn't breathe and was nearly throwing up. I'd coughed and smoked before, but this time I felt so ill as well, and I just couldn't inhale but I was still frantically trying to. Suddenly I stopped. I looked at the cigarette in my hand. I thought 'What the £$%!!$ am I doing?'. I threw the cigarette on the ground and stamped on it, and I haven't had a single puff since that moment.

  • After bringing back a pile of ciggies from Turkey (over our limit but not a ridiculous amount), the OH decided we'd stop after they'd gone. I was not convinced that it would be a success, however I'd give it a go and had time to get used to the idea.

    I'd noticed chest infections were lingering and I was borrowing the OH's puffer occassionally so it was about time. One person from work had stopped and a couple of married friends were also trying so there was a bit of support as well.

    We ran out on a Thursday, however postponed the quit until Sunday (the first day at home to be miserable and stay in bed, then work to take our minds off it). The OH had a ciggie in the morning and started her quit when I got up (I thought this was madness - as I had a 12 hour headstart on her now with the body getting rid of a load of chemicals [not nicotine as I took some lozenges]).

    The OH lasted 3 hours and although I was sorely tempted, I wasn't feeling too bad with the lozenges and decided to see if I could last the day. One day led to two, then three - I was being extremely stubborn!!!

    During the first week, I re read Allen Carr and it made a lot more sense (not all of it - some of it was typical american/hollywood self help nonsense). I stopped the frequent lozenges and just had one when I really needed it. After 6 days I stopped the lozenges (replacing them with lots of biscuits for a couple of months, then polo mints after I started resembling a biscuit barrel).

    My wife lasted 3 hours, my married friends 5 weeks and my work mate 2 months, so I am last man standing at 6 months and a bit :D:D

    The forum has been a major factor for me aswell with a lot of good people (especially the Octopirates of 2011). It can also be a bit discouraging when the 'I have smoked' posts appear or a frequent poster suddenly disappears, but ho hum, life goes on...and on

    :D

  • Totally agree Alex...I was thinking about it as I knew I had my op...but the trigger was my son putting that E-Cig in my hand the day after his 52yr old Dad died of lung cancer from smoking..I stopped the next morning..but have had about 10 drags in all on the E-Cig lol doing it with patches..xx

    Aw Toyah that brought a tear to my eye but you know what the good thing is? It's because you acted on it. That's love x

  • Aw Toyah that brought a tear to my eye but you know what the good thing is? It's because you acted on it. That's love x

    Arhhh thanks Suze..xx

  • Oooh this is really interesting - I'd never thought about the difference between reasons and triggers before, and it's very helpful to distinguish between the two.

    It makes more sense of the fact that I'd had plenty of reasons (hadn't we all) for years and years - all of which made me feel terribly, terribly guilty and ashamed of myself, but none of which helped me to stop smoking. In fact, the associated stress just made me smoke even more. My shortness of breath really SHOULD have been a trigger, but in fact I just got endless supplies of inhalers from overseas (too embarrassed to keep asking my GP for resupplies!). I honestly thought I would/could never, ever give up. Which thoroughly depressed me, made me feel even worse about myself, and so the whole cycle repeated itself endlessly for years and years ...

    But then the last of my smoking friends decided to quit. And a switch just flicked somewhere inside me. Sadly he fell off the wagon after a couple of months, but he will be back one day, I hope (and we'll be with you all the way, GTAT, if you are reading this!).

    Sue

    x

  • I went for a pre -op assessment to find that my blood pressure was astronomical and they weren't going to proceed. The op wasn't life -essential but I got to thinking 'what if is was?'

    Obviously I knew about the health risks of smoking, but up until this point I thought that I was invincible. Clearly I am not :(

    @Toyah, sorry to hear your story, well done for quitting in what have been a very stressful time for you xxx

  • Couple of things for me. I hated doing it & always felt like a complete mug going to the shop every day & then setting fire to the things i'd bought. Never being able to relax properly because i'd have to get up to go buy more at some point during the day & the general feeling of being a complete slave to an expensive stick of paper.

    The main triggers though, were a close friend of mine's dad being diagnosed with terminal cancer. Comforting her while stinking of smoke just made me feel like a massive hypocrite. Then i took a girl to the cinema & abandoned her for 10 minutes to have a cheeky snout before the film started. She was fine about it but i felt like an absolute dickhead.

    Then, walking through the lobby of a supermarket having just bought a pack of smokes, a woman who was handing out flyers for a charity cancer fundraiser blatantly ignored me as i passed her. Once again, i felt like a dick.

    So i was paying good money to do something i didn't particularly enjoy & feeling more & more like an idiot for doing it every day. If someone ever asked me what my biggest regret in life is, the answer was always "starting smoking" as though it was some huge obstacle that i couldn't get over. Now the answer is "not quitting sooner."

  • Mine was my sister being diagnosed with Emphysema. It made me realise how it could so easily be me and so I quit!

  • My trigger was my reason - Lol!! Does that count as an answer?

  • My trigger was my reason - Lol!! Does that count as an answer?

    ok, so what was your trigger?

  • My story....

    The very very long thread titled 'My Story' in Month 2, goes into a lot of detail about my trigger but in brief, severe chest pains amongst other things!!! And the doctors frowning at me at my choice of lifestyle, with the...'and you wonder why you have chest pains?' raised eyebrow look!!!

  • Apologies...

    It was in 'other symptoms of quitting' forum and not in Month 2, just in case someone fancies a bedtime read!!! Lol!!

  • The very very long thread titled 'My Story' in Month 2, goes into a lot of detail about my trigger but in brief, severe chest pains amongst other things!!! And the doctors frowning at me at my choice of lifestyle, with the...'and you wonder why you have chest pains?' raised eyebrow look!!!

    Yep, a good old health scare seems to be quite a common trigger! :eek:

  • Mine was the same as MrE really. Just the shame and self loathing i felt in so many situations. Of course, my kids were the main reason.

    I think the tipping point for me was when i was sat in the garden one morning having a cig. I wanted the cig but as soon as it was lit i felt overwhelming depression and guilt. I looked up and saw my wonderful son sat patiently inside looking out of the window, waiting for me. I realised what he was seeing. i quickly put it out and went inside. He was waiting to ask me for some advice about some issue he's is having at school. He needed my help but instead he sat there waiting for me while i smoked. I realised there and then that this had to stop.

    I think it just all came to a head and i knew that i had to try for ever until i succeeded. I owed it to myself and my beautiful family to never give up giving up.

    cheers

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