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Triggers, are they physical or psychological?

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

  1. oportosanto

    oportosanto Community Champion

    Yes, what happens inside our mind has a huge weight. For example, when drinking coffee everyone smokes because it makes the coffee taste better, but when we stop smoking that urge is still there.
  2. cpinatsi

    cpinatsi Senior Contributor

    I personally think it is a bit of both, psychological and physical. In my case, some time I feel that it is all just in my head, and some times I really feel that it is actually my body that has these needs.
  3. oportosanto

    oportosanto Community Champion

    Yeah, it's both in the sense that everyone has a hard time making a difference between body and mind, but usually it's the mind that plays tricks on us and that commands the body.
  4. vegito12

    vegito12 Community Champion

    I think the psychological side can affect the mind and also the body as well and it can take time to get through the moods which can change when using tobacco and smoking can affect different people, which can make people struggle when they try to quit smoking and hope people do get the help they need. It is interesting to see what can happen when these triggers occur and also it can be hard to know what people go through, when they are smoking and also think that family and friends need to watch what the person goes through. I think that it can be physical for some people and the mouth can have bad breathe which can make the person smell bad which is going to affect the body of the person.
  5. oportosanto

    oportosanto Community Champion

    It would be very beneficial for everyone if anyone actually wrote some book about triggers. Eventually there is one, I really don't know, but if we understood how they work our life would be made easier.
  6. MichelleVL

    MichelleVL Senior Contributor

    I think that for me it's both physical and psychological. Sometimes I'll smoke because I feel like my body is low on nicotine (physical), then rest of the times I'll smoke because of stress, anxiety, anger (psychological). Since I'm trying to quit, I'm trying to control myself,but it is very hard to control the urges. I have been able to be successful to contain myself though, even with both psychological and physical triggers affecting me, and I've managed to decrease my nicotine intake.
  7. oportosanto

    oportosanto Community Champion

    Most of the times it's almost impossible to tell the difference if it's something physical or not. The mind wants, the body acts, so that's why we need to be busy and don't have time to think.
  8. morgoodie

    morgoodie Senior Contributor

    I do believe that the psychological aspect of smoking is strong. Smokers have certain times that they smoke such as while driving, after eating, and while drinking. These become a habit so when you are quitting it is harder to not smoke during the times that you generally have a cigarette. It is breaking these habits that could be helpful in being able to quit smoking. If you are used to smoking a cigarette after you eat, then you will have a strong urge to have one at that time when you are trying to quit.
  9. Joethefirst

    Joethefirst Community Champion

    I never got that urge, I remember the first time I heard this I tried it out and I didn't find I enjoyed the coffee any more because of it. I think it's a associations people create, if somebody relieves a pang while eating peanuts they associate that relief with the peanut so every time the have a peanut they think it would taste better if they had a smoke while eating it.
  10. This might seem dumb, but there's a very common habit around here that involves immediately lighting up after drinking coffee. The ritual is inseparable, and somewhat sacred in a twisted way. This old adage was all it takes to cause triggers for ex smokers who then go into relapse, I know first hand. Been there, done that. Completely psychological association in my opinion.
  11. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    Most smokers will have a routine or a ritual that they will go off, and lighting up after a cup of coffee or after eating a meal is quite common I'd imagine.

    That's why quitting smoking is so hard because you tend to associate certain things with smoking, and when you are quitting you feel lost not having that cigarette when you're used to having it in the past.
  12. Jose

    Jose Active Contributor

    It was all psychological to me. Now I'm trying to quit I realize I've trained myself to smoke for certain situations and those particular situations triggers the cravings. Since pretty much everything I have done in my life for the first time and on, has involved smoking as a factor that made it better. Its really hard to detach from those powerful experiences but I'm definitely doing it and I can see the progress. So definitely more psychological than anything.
  13. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    For a lot of people I think it's hard to figure out if the triggers are psychological or physical because they can be both at the same time. Take the example of smoking after eating a meal. It's both your mind that wants the cigarette because it's what your used to, but also your body that's craving the nicotine.
  14. oportosanto

    oportosanto Community Champion

    Sure, it's something that happens in our head. The same happened with studies, as I used to smoke a lot when studying, so when I quit I had a really hard time studying, it made me nervous.
  15. Joethefirst

    Joethefirst Community Champion

    There already is one, it's Allen Carr's "Easy way to stop smoking", it really focuses on this, it isn't the only thing that is talked about in the book, but it is a important part of it.
    oportosanto likes this.
  16. ejorman1010

    ejorman1010 Senior Contributor

    The nicotine withdrawal is likely physical. Once you get past the physical symptoms, it is mostly mental. Sometimes just seeing a smoker and not so much the nicotine craving may trigger me to want to light up. It could also be both at the same time.
  17. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    There is no doubt that nicotine creates real physical dependencies, but that being said, I think that there is a huge psychological component to it. I mean you are habituated to have tobacco at certain times of the day and you crave it, so it is very much a psychological dependency as well.
  18. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    At the end of the day, smoking is both a psychological and physical dependency and as with a lot of other habits and you can't say one is stronger than the other in my opinion.

    You shouldn't really compare one dependency to another because they both need to be fixed, no matter what the drug involved.
  19. Joethefirst

    Joethefirst Community Champion

    Exactly it is no different to any other drug. There are always two parts to it, a physical and a mental part. Normally the most difficult part to get over is the mental part, the physical addiction normally stops in a short period of time.
    pwarbi likes this.
  20. oportosanto

    oportosanto Community Champion

    That certainly seems like one good reading, thanks for sharing it Joe. I mean, nothing like benefiting from someone else's experience.
    Joethefirst likes this.