Updated 03 July 2013

What do your cigarettes mean to you?

Understanding why you smoke is an important step in giving up. There may be more than one reason, of course.


Understanding why you smoke is an important step in giving up. There may be more than one reason, of course. Click on any of the following statements that apply in your case, for some insights and tips:

I think of a cigarette primarily as:

1. An ‘upper’.
It feels like it gives me more energy. I smoke when I have to keep on the go, to wake up in the morning, or when I need a "pick-me-up".
YesClick here for insights and tips if you use nicotine as a upper.
No – Continue to the next question.

2. A social security blanket, a ritual
It "feels right" to have a cigarette in my hand or mouth. I feel more at ease socially when I’ve got something to do with my hands. I enjoy the whole process: taking a cigarette out of the pack, lighting it, watching the smoke when I exhale.
YesClick here if this sounds like you.
No – Continue.

3. A treat or delicious titbit, like good chocolate or fine brandy.
I smoke because it’s pleasurable. I associate it with good times, which is when I really feel like a cigarette – a smoke just seems to make the moment better.
YesClick here if you use cigarettes as a treat.
No - Continue.

4. A tranquilliser.
I use smoking to help me relax if I'm tense or upset. When I’m stressed out, angry or depressed, a cigarette makes me feel better.
YesClick here if you use cigarettes as a tranquilliser.
No - Continue.

5. A fix.
I’m addicted; I constantly crave cigarettes. When I run out, I can’t concentrate on anything properly until I get more. I’m very aware of not smoking when I don't have a cigarette in my hand.
YesClick here if you use cigarettes as a fix.
No – Continue.

6. An extension of my own body.
Smoking is a habit, something I do more or less automatically without being fully aware of it a lot of the time. Sometimes I light up a cigarette without realising I’ve got one burning in an ashtray, or I find a cigarette in my mouth and don't remember putting it there.
YesClick here if you light up a cigarette automatically.

Adapted from the National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Health, by Olivia Rose-Innes, Health24, March 2012

(Picture: woman smoking from Shutterstock)




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