The following test, developed by University of Pittsburgh psychologist Saul Shiffman, will pinpoint where you are likely to crave a cigarette and are most vulnerable to light up again.
The test gives a list of situations where people frequently smoke. Rate how much you crave a cigarette in each situation, and circle the appropriate number: 1 - Sometimes, 2 - Usually, 3 - Almost always. Then total each section. Are You Likely to Smoke When You:
Feel tense?1 2 3
Feel upset?1 2 3
Feel frustrated?1 2 3 Tension Score:
Are trying to pass time?1 2 3
Feel bored?1 2 3
Are waiting for someone or something?1 2 3 Boredom Score:
Feel really happy?1 2 3
Want to relax?1 2 3
Are resting?1 2 3 Relaxation Score:
Are with company?1 2 3
Are at a party?1 2 3
Are talking?1 2 3 Socializing Score:
Are working hard?1 2 3
Smoke to go along with some activity you are doing?1 2 3
Want to keep yourself busy?1 2 3 Activity Score:
Have finished a meal or snack?1 2 3
Have had dessert and coffee?1 2 3
Are drinking coffee or tea?1 2 3 Eating Score:
Are drinking an alcoholic beverage?1 2 3
Have had a drink?1 2 3
Are a little high or tipsy?1 2 3 Drinking Score:
Feel depressed?1 2 3
Need cheering up?1 2 3
Feel blue?1 2 3 Depression Score:
Are offered a cigarette?1 2 3
See someone else smoke?1 2 3
Smell smoke?1 2 3 Pressure Score: Scoring
Look for high scores. A score of 9 indicates a vulnerable spot, 6 suggests a potential problem, and 3 indicates a situation where you are not very vulnerable to smoking again.
Next, Shiffman says, compile a menu of coping strategies to keep yourself from lighting up. "You've got to be quick and practiced," he says. "It needs to be a rote response. Creativity in this situation doesn't get you anywhere."
On a 3-by-5 card, write down your "three favorite, best-developed coping responses." These can be as simple as calling a friend. Among the ones Shiffman recommends:
*Escape. Leave the situation briefly, even if it means going to the restroom for a few minutes or taking a quick walk around the block.
*Distraction. Do something else to keep busy until the urge to smoke passes. Chew sugarless gum. Clean your desk. Wash the dishes.
*Re-evaluation. When people light up they often forget that the cigarette won't taste very good and that it will lead them back to smoking. Assess realistically whether it's a cigarette that you want. Says Shiffman: "You need to do a kind of promotion campaign on yourself."