A smoking journal can be helpful both while you prepare to quit and after you quit. Use it to record information about your smoking behaviour, such as:
- Your list of reasons to quit.
- Your smoking triggers, which are those times, places, and situations when you reach for a cigarette.
- Contact information for your support people.
Start your journal before your quit date, if possible. Make entries for at least 7 days (one full week). Record:
- The time, place, and situation (for example, after a meal or during a coffee break) for each cigarette you smoke.
- The level or degree of your urge to smoke and your feelings about not smoking. Describe the feelings and thoughts you have while smoking.
Take a look at your weeks' worth of notes, and identify when or where you will be most likely to relapse. Think about whether you can avoid these situations. If you cannot avoid them, make a plan of action that lists what you will do instead of smoking when you find yourself in those situations. Add this action plan to your journal.
After your quit date, record:
- Each urge or craving for a cigarette and the time, place, and situation.
- The level or degree of your urge to smoke and your feelings about not smoking.
- Anything you do to help you get through the urge (for example, changing activities, breathing as though you are smoking, chewing on a straw).
The journal doesn't have to be difficult or complex. Here's a sample of what a smoking journal might look like for someone who is preparing to quit:
|Cigarette||Time||Place or Situation||Level of need (1–5)|
|1||7:45||In car, on way to work||4|
|2||10:15||Outside office, 1st coffee break||2|
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine|
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||John Hughes, MD - Psychiatry|
|Last Revised||September 19, 2011|
Public Health Alerts
Public health alerts include information about outbreaks, advisories and product recalls. Click on the links below to read the most recent alerts, or visit our Public Health Alerts web page.
FIND Services and Resources
If you are looking for health services in your community, you can use our directory to FIND hospitals, clinics, and other resources.
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Is it an emergency?
If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be life-threatening. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately. If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.