Quitting Smoking: Know Your Patterns

How many cigarettes do you smoke per day? When are you most likely to smoke? What are your smoking triggers—those unexpected people or events that send you reaching for a cigarette?

Maybe you want to quit smoking. Maybe you don’t. Either way, understanding your patterns and routines can be a huge step toward taking control of your smoking—whatever that means to you.

Tracking your smoking is one of the ways to start exploring your patterns. It’s also a great way to get real about how much, when, and why you smoke. You may be surprised to find out that you smoke more or less than you thought you did, or that there are certain times of day that you’re especially likely to smoke.

There are lots of ways you can track smoking, including apps like Pivot, the simple notes feature on your smartphone, or good old-fashioned paper and pen. Each time you smoke, take note of the number of cigarettes, time of day, and reasons for smoking (reasons being anything from “just a regular smoke break” to “got really stressed out in traffic this morning”).

Try it out for a few days, and see what you learn!

This is the second installment of a seven-post series on how to explore your personal relationship to smoking and quitting, based on some of the initial activities in the Pivot program. The full series is below. 
#1 Don’t Quit Smoking Today
#2 Quitting Smoking: Know Your Patterns
#3 Quitting Smoking: Identify Your Why
#4 Quitting Smoking: Connect with What’s Important
#5 Quitting Smoking: Know What’s in Your Way
#6 Quitting Smoking: Know Your Attitude
#7 Quitting Smoking: Create a Vision