A cue is a stimulus that signals you to carry out a particular behavior. For example, the smells from a restaurant can trigger the feeling of hunger and signal you to get something to eat. A sudden loud noise can cue you to seek safety and as a result you may duck your head. Smells, sights, sounds, things, and places can all be cues that signal you to drink or use. Remember, addiction is based on learning to react in specific ways to specific cues. Your cues to drink or use drugs can be identified and managed to change or extinguish your response to the cues. This means you can stop yourself from responding automatically to a specific set of cues.
Cues can lead to craving. Craving is a strong desire for something. Craving is commonly used to describe the feeling experienced prior to drinking or taking a drug and prior to beginning to look for a drink or a drug. Craving can be made more powerful by your thoughts, surroundings or a particular event. Your craving for a cigarette will be felt more strongly when you enter the bar where you always smoked; and less strongly or not at all, when you enter the kitchen of a friend who never allowed you to smoke in their house.