Smoking habits and rituals

The habit of smoking is very strong: you puff on a cigarette hundreds of times each and every day. When people who have smoked for a long time stop, they find it strange to have nothing in their hands or mouths. They have become so accustomed to handling cigarettes that their hands seek cigarettes from habit, even when they aren't strongly craving them.

Signs of a strong habit include:

  • Smoking automatically without thinking about it or realizing it. You find a cigarette in your mouth and don't remember putting it there.
  • Lighting a cigarette without realizing there is one burning in the ashtray.
  • Feeling that handling a cigarette, the process of lighting it, or watching the smoke as you exhale is part of the enjoyment of smoking.
  • Smoking automatically as a part of other things you do, such as drinking coffee or alcohol or talking on the telephone.

Last Updated: July 22, 2009

Author: Bets Davis, MFA

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & John Hughes, MD - Psychiatry

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.