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Brought to you by Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora – Southern and WellSouth primary health network

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Kids holding smokefree signs NZ

Staying Smokefree

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Managing smoking triggers

We know stopping smoking can be difficult for many, especially when there are so many triggers that you might face.  Because of this, we want to give you a heads up as to how to best manage your triggers.

As smoking triggers are often linked to routines and smells, it is good to keep in mind what your routine is and how often smoking fits into this. For example, if your routine is to have a coffee in the morning with a cigarette, think about substituting the coffee for a cup of tea or glass of water or even try to go without the coffee break entirely.

Smoking Emotion triggers

There are a few ways to deal with emotional triggers:

  • Talk about your emotions with a friend or whānau member
  • Take slow, deep breaths to slow down your body, quiet your mind and reduce cravings
  • Exercise - physical activity is a great way to handle emotions
  • Listen to calming music.  Music can relax you by slowing your heart rate, lowering blood pressure and decreasing stress hormones

If your triggers are withdrawal triggers, it is helpful to keep in mind that they will go away over time. They may just be harder to deal with at this current moment. To combat these in the meantime, using Nicotine Replacement Therapy (patches, gum, lozenge) will help curb the craving.

There is help available:

Southern Stop Smoking Service – Freephone on 0800-925-242 to be put in touch with a coach.  The service is FREE and the coaches have the nicotine patches, gum and lozenge available for free. 

Quitline – available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Free phone on 0800-778-778 or text 4006.  Advisors are on hand to answer any questions or provide additional support as you need it.  Or get online support at