There are some certain behaviour patterns, sometimes associated with certain products or items, which will create almost immediate cravings for cigarettes, even some time after quitting. Certain social settings are certain to achieve the same thing. In the immediate aftermath of quitting smoking, it is important that you recognize those triggers and do everything you can to avoid them.
If you started smoking in your teens or in your early twenties, you almost certainly associate the consumption of alcohol with tobacco, and vice versa. Those ages are a time of self-discovery, meaning trying out things that are not ideal for you and that your parents probably warned you about! The problem is that the association of alcohol with smoking cigarettes is a very resilient and difficult to break!
In the first few weeks or months after quitting smoking, depending on your level of commitment and strength of will, it is recommended to avoid consumption of alcoholic beverages in large quantites. Not only will the association and behaviour come roaring back with a vengeance, enticing you to ‘borrow’ a cigarette from anyone who can spare one, but your vigilance and willpower will also be greatly diminished through the well-known and usually well-appreciated effects of alcohol!
When you have decided to quit smoking, take your time. Don’t cut yourself off from your friends because they drink, but make sure they know that you may be going through a rough patch. If they really are your friends, they will compromise and not involve drinking or smoking just as much in your activities. This will give you a comfortable cool-down period in which to get re-acquainted with alcohol, without the crutch of cigarettes this time.
We are programmed to believe that cigarettes and alcohol, just like cigarettes and a good meal, go hand in hand, but in reality they do not. Non-smokers don’t crave a cigarette with their booze, do they? Neither should you!