We all know smoking is bad for our health but quitting isn’t as simple as it sounds. Up to 40% of smokers attempt to quit each year, so how do you make it count this time and succeed in quitting for good?
Tell friends, family and co-workers that you’re committed to this quit attempt. Ask them not to offer you cigarettes or smoke around you.
Remove all temptation
Throw away all lighters, ashtrays, cigarettes and tobacco. Don’t make it easy for yourself to cheat.
Identify your triggers
For many people having a drink and a smoke go hand in hand. If this is the case, try to fill up your diary with other activities that keep you busy. Invite friends over for a meal, go to the cinema or theatre. Often it is better to avoid bars and pubs during the first few weeks when the cravings are at their highest, particularly if this is your weak spot.
Change your habits
If you usually buy your cigarettes when you pick up your loaf of bread on the way home, get your bread from the bakery so you aren’t tempted to call in at the kiosk. Instead of lighting up on the walk to the office, chew gum or listen to a podcast. Your brain will adapt remarkably quickly.
Eat and drink healthily
Smoking suppresses your appetite so once you stop smoking you may find you’re hungry a lot. Anticipate this by stocking up on healthy fruits and vegetables to snack on. Stick to recommended portion sizes and wait 10 minutes before going back for seconds. Drink a glass of water before a meal and sip water if you’re hungry – you may just be thirsty and not actually need a snack after all.
Tackle withdrawal symptoms
Using a nicotine replacement or prescription medicine will help you to handle these symptoms. It is good to remember that the craving only lasts about 15-20 minutes, so if you can get through this time you will have done it. Try to distract yourself by going for a walk or put yourself in a situation when you wouldn’t usually smoke anyway, such as playing with your children or taking a shower.
Track your progress with an app
Keep note of how many smoke-free days you have had, how many cigarettes you’ve avoided and the health and financial benefits you will have gained. Use these to reaffirm your quit attempt and feel proud of what you have achieved.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
There is no shame in asking for help. Very often, talking to someone who knows what you’re going through can give you a real boost and spur you on to keep at it. You’re up to four times more likely to quit successfully if you use a combination of a stop smoking treatment and specialist help and support from your local Stop Smoking Service.
Stop smoking treatment
Champix is a prescription-only medicine to help quit smoking that doesn’t contain nicotine. It works by reducing your desire to smoke and preventing you from getting the same satisfaction from smoking as you did before taking it. However, treatment isn’t a quick and simple fix, quitting will still take willpower and dedication. The treatment is available through stop smoking services, prescribed by your doctor or via our Online Doctor stop smoking clinic.