An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the DrugAbuse.com Forums?Join or

Triggers, are they physical or psychological?

Discussion in 'Tobacco / Nicotine' started by Joethefirst, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. Joethefirst

    Joethefirst Community Champion

    I have been thinking quit hard about this lately. I sometimes wonder if the addiction to nicotine is stronger psychologically then physically.
    When they started to prohibited smoking in certain areas I remember that I memorized all the locations that you could smoke. They funny thing was that when ever I would walked past these places, they I really wanted to smoke.
    I could spend a most of the time without even thinking about cigarettes, but once I walked near these places all I could think of was having a cigarettes.
    Do es anyone else feel the same?
  2. LoveEcho

    LoveEcho Community Champion

    I think so, if I'm not thinking about cigarettes it doesn't bother me much. For me, I think it's mostly psycological. It was easy for me to quit smoking cigarettes, it was hard to quit opioids... But, that's just me. My entire body would scream for opioids but only my mind would scream for cigarettes. We are all affected differently, some people will end up pulling out their hair without a cigarette.
  3. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    For me it was psychological, and at certain times of the day and what I did was a trigger.

    In the morning when I woke up, after meals, and when I'd had a beer, and before bed were the times that I craved it the most. I used to smoke other times in between, but even after managing to cut the rest out, they were still the four times I'd need a cigarette, and not just want one.
  4. Tsky45

    Tsky45 Community Champion

    I think it's all psychological. Most Triggers are meant to manipulate the mind. If you walked past something and it made you want a smoke maybe you should change your focus and channel that energy into something else. These triggers are usually the biggest set back. Learning to deal with triggers may be one of the most important things.
  5. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    Triggers are mostly psychological, without a doubt. Mind affects body and body affects mind. Triggers are also known as anchors in NLP and can be changed or removed using psychological techniques. I do think that smoking is mostly just habit and is therefore mostly a psychological addiction. However, there is a physical component in that smokers also get physical cravings and withdrawal symptoms, although they are quite subtle.
  6. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    I do think that the majority of cigarettes we smoke are habitual. There was always a few "core" cigarettes that I really couldn't do without (like first thing in the morning) but I realised that many of the cigs I smoked were purely out of habit.
  7. FuZyOn

    FuZyOn Community Champion

    I don't think it's physical, definitely. Our body doesn't need the bad chemicals and nicotine coming from a cigarette, it's just our brain and subconcious mind who feel like we need to smoke in order to cope with the craving feelings, those also coming from our brain.
  8. Joethefirst

    Joethefirst Community Champion

    Thank you for your responses, I think that this idea has become reinforced lately due to something that I have experienced in the past, and that was smoking a cigarette and thinking of lighting up another one. This doesn't make sense. Why would you feel like having another cigarette while you are smoking one?
  9. oportosanto

    oportosanto Community Champion

    I think it's really hard to separate what is physical from what is psychological. Surely the head commands the body, so it's most likely triggered in our head, so we really need to find out ways to fight and avoid those triggers.
  10. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    A trigger is a trigger whether physical or psychological. I think the best way to break a habit or an addiction is to put something else in it's place. Just expecting to be able to forego a habit without something else is most likely useless.
  11. oportosanto

    oportosanto Community Champion

    I have to agree with that Kgord. If we have an activity that occupies or time and we terminate it we need to replace it by something else or else we will be strongly tempted to go back to it.
  12. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    I think at the start of use, it could be more psychological cause some even do start smoking even they do notreally like the taste or smell of it. But when already addicted to it, I think it can be more of the physical since your body is already accustomed or always looking for it. IMO
  13. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    Not being a smoker I'd not know for sure :) But being a former addict I'd say it's mostly psychological, but also physical. For my fiance it seems that his main trigger is psychological. I think for him it's hard to start his day without smoking, after all he has been doing this for years. He says he finds himself smoking when he is bored, I get him because that is when I find myself eating.
  14. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    For me it was very much psychological over physical - in my opinion, anyway! Like you, there would be certain places I would associate with smoking, or certain situations that would stress me out (for instance my work environment was really high paced and stressful - which made it tough!)

    Being at those places often drove me to want a cigarette - not so much a physical push.
  15. eveliner

    eveliner Senior Contributor

    Psychological definitely. At least for me it was. Also I couldn't get my mind off of those thoughts like: "Will my friends further accept me if I quit smoking?" so I continued doing my horrendous habit just because of that thought for a very, very long time, believe it or not. And eventually my health state got gradually worse and had to inevitably quit.
  16. oportosanto

    oportosanto Community Champion

    I think they can be both, but they have a strong psychological component. Who can tell the difference really? Everything is connected, so we need to be alert.
  17. henry

    henry Community Champion

    I think it's more psychological than physical. Places and situations seem to trigger wanting to smoke. In my experience, I've noticed that I smoke a lot more when I'm on the phone. It doesn't matter if I had a smoke 2 minutes ago. I light up another and think nothing of it. That means it's not my body asking for it, it's my mind.
  18. jazzyjazz

    jazzyjazz Member

    My experience has been very strange when it comes to cigarette addiction. I have been smoking for more than a year and I have never felt addicted. I would smoke heavily for some days and without any plan or will power I would go for days without a cigarette because it simply did not cross my mind. I might be a freaky case though.
  19. oportosanto

    oportosanto Community Champion

    As far as cigarettes going the addiction is definitely more psychological than physical, at least that was happening to me because I always felt the need to smoke under the same circumstances.
  20. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    In my case the urge to smoke is psychological because I noticed that when I am full, that's the time that I want to smoke the most. It's like my brain is telling me that it's the "best" time to smoke.