Quitting smoking: 10 top tips
No one pretends that quitting smoking is easy. But, we all know that stopping smoking is better for us – not to mention those around us. Thinking of trying to stop smoking but not sure how to go about it? Check out our top 10 tips for quitting smoking below – they might just help you make your next cigarette your last.
Know the damage smoking can cause
One of the most helpful things when you’re trying to quit smoking is to understand why you’re doing it. Knowing and understanding what is in a cigarette and the damage it does to your body can help make you realise that quitting is definitely worth it. Smoking is linked to many serious and fatal diseases, including lung cancer, heart disease, bronchitis and emphysema. Cigarettes contain 4,000 toxic chemicals and around 50 of these can cause cancer.
Know the benefits quitting can offer
Stopping smoking will reduce your risk of a whole host of illnesses, from cancer to gangrene, and improve your fertility levels. As soon as you stop smoking, your body will start to recover. After just 24 hours, carbon monoxide will be eliminated from your body. Quit for 10 years and your risk of lung cancer will fall to half that of a smoker and your risk of heart attack will fall to the same level as someone who has never smoked.
Think of the money
Stopping smoking won’t just improve your health – it’ll improve your bank balance too. If you smoke 20 a day, you will spend more than £900 over the next 6 months. Think about what you could do with that money and try and use it as an incentive to make you stop. Some people choose to put the money they would spend on cigarettes every day into a jar, so they can visibly see the money they are saving. At the end of the month, empty the jar out and treat yourself to something special.
Take advantage of the NHS Stop Smoking service
In England, the NHS Stop Smoking service has helped many smokers on their way to quitting. The NHS Stop Smoking service means you can make regular appointments with an NHS specialist who can help you finally quit. The NHS offer lots of free things to help you quit – including Quit Kits, which contains advice from experts developed to help you, quitting apps, leaflets and flyers and even stress-busting MP3s.
Talk to your friends
Whether your friends are smokers or not, it’s a good idea to tell people you know that you are quitting. You might find you’d rather ride out the cravings than admit to your friends that you’ve failed! If you have friends that smoke, you could try and encourage them to quit with you. Although you might find that you have the odd snappy conversation, a team effort is often easier than going it alone.
Explore your options
Quitting doesn’t have to mean going cold turkey without taking any measures to help yourself. There are tons of stop smoking aids out there – from patches to hypnotherapy. Different aids work better for different people. See what works for you and go with it.
Change your routine
Many people find drinking alcohol a stumbling block when trying to quit smoking. Consider cutting down on your alcohol consumption in the first few weeks of trying to quit.
Remove the temptation
If you’ve decided to quit, it’s a good idea to clear your home, car, office or anywhere else you smoke of all the smoking paraphernalia. Get rid of your lighters and ash trays as well as your cigarettes to help you avoid the temptation.
Think of how you are perceived by others
Once upon a time, smoking was thought of as cool. Now, this perception is hugely out of date. Many people are put off by seeing someone smoke – not to mention the smell, stained fingers and brown teeth. Is this how you want to be thought of by people you meet?
Don’t give up giving up
As we said earlier, there’s no point pretending that giving up smoking is easy. Many smokers have relapses when they try and quit – whether it’s one cigarette on a night out or slipping right back to square one. Keep trying and one day you’ll get there. We believe in you!
Photo: Serge Melki