It is more like a secret hidden in plain sight. Many people actually quit smoking this way, without knowing this method is a studied and practiced in psychology. It is often referred to as Habit Reversal, or the Substitution Strategy for Quitting Smoking, and if understood and properly used, it can be very effective for long term quit smoking success.

The very simple idea behind the Substitution Strategy is that it is easier to replace a habit than it is to break one. Habits have 3 parts, the trigger, the habit or action, and the reward. This is called the habit loop and here is how it works.

Infographic of Habit Loop for smoking cigarettes

Your triggers to smoke will always be in your life.  They are stress, drinking, boredom, or seeing other smokers.  The habit of smoking, not the reward.  And the reward is why you repeat the habit, not the action itself. The reward is the break from work, the stress relief, the energy hit, an excuse to get outside, relief from boredom, and so on. Ideally the new habit will provide those same rewards. Understanding your reward is the important.


Young Woman Drinking herbal tea to quit smokingIf possible, it is important to avoid your triggers as much as possible.  However, there will always be stressful situations, other people smoking, needing an excuse to get away, or other reasons for lighting up.  Since these triggers to smoker cannot always be avoided, you simply need to retrain our response from smoking to something else healthier.

Start by learning when you normally smoker.  If you stop what you are doing at 2:00 pm every day and go outside for a cigarette, next time try doing the same thing with a cup of tea. Make sure to take long slow breaths, sip the tea, and focus on the cup in your hands. The herbal tea can be an ideal alternative response to a trigger you formerly associated with cigarette smoking, that will provide a similar reward.

Most people use this secret to quitting smoking without knowing it, but in an unhealthy way like snacking on junk food to keep their hands and mouth busy when quitting. Healthy snacks could work, such as chewing on raisins, tooth picks, or gum. Really any new routine that can provide a similar reward can be your secret to quitting smoking for good.

Replace your habit now!



Nicotine addiction is a disease.  These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  This article is designed for educational purposes only. It is intended to supplement, not to replace, consultation with a physician.

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