Smokers throughout the UK are being encouraged to quit for good tomorrow on National No Smoking Day. Surveys show about two-thirds of current smokers would like to stop, yet only 30-40 per cent make a attempt to quit every year.
To help you with those cravings here are 15 ways to help you kick the habit for good:
SET A DATE:
Decide on the day you are going to quit and stick to it. Don’t cut down before this date, it will turn smoking into a coveted treat and make it harder to quit.
Remove temptation. When the quit date approaches make it as easy as possible, get rid of all the lighters and ashtrays in your house. If you’re using quitting aids make sure you’ve stocked up.
QUIT WHEN YOU’RE IN A GOOD MOOD:
Studies find that you’re less likely to succeed at quitting if you do it when you’re depressed or stressed out. Remove any other stresses hanging over you before adding another one to the pile.
You may have tried quitting smoking before and not managed it. Don’t let that get you down. Use previous attempts as a reference point to see what worked and what didn’t.
CALL IT WHAT IT IS:
Studies have shown that nicotine is an addictive drug, so the way we talk about quitting can have an affect on our ability to quit. Recognising cravings as withdrawal symptoms can have mental benefits and make it easier on you.
HAVE A SHOLDER TO LEAN ON:
Let your friends know when you stop smoking so they can help, whether that be by going on walks with you in your lunch break or just not smoking around you. Having someone to talk to can be a massive help.
SWEAT IT OUT:
Try going to a sauna within the first week of quitting. Sweating out the remaining nicotine from your body will help with the cravings.
GET PROFESSIONAL HELP:
There are many free services available to help you stop smoking. Ring the Stop Smoking helpline on 0300 123 1044 for information or refer to the free
NHS Stop Smoking Services. Your doctor, pharmacist, or health visitor should be able to support you to quit or to refer you to Stop Smoking Services in your area.
USE YOUR PHONE:
A study published in the journal The Lancet found that smokers who used a cessation program called “txt2stop” were twice as likely to quit after six months than those who tried to quit on their own. The program sends encouraging messages to those who are trying to kick the habit.
TRY NICOTINE REPLACEMENTS:
Using gum, patches or other forms of replacement therapy almost double your chance of quitting, by providing a small dose of nicotine to hep fight the withdrawal symptoms.
REMIND YOURSELF WHY YOU’RE DOING IT:
Make a list of why you want to quit smoking. Maybe you want to be healthier, protect your loved ones from second hand smoke or save money. When things get tough looking at this list will help fight your cravings.
MAKE NON-SMOKING FRIENDS
As a smoker your friends are usually smokers too, so try and find new friends who don’t smoke to remove the social pressure and temptation to just have one.
Exercise releases dopamine and adrenaline into your system, which are proven to help combat cravings So when you feel the need for a smoke, go for a walk, go to the gym…just get moving.
Your sense of smell is one of the first things to return once you stop smoking so make sure you wash all your clothes. Clean your carpets and draperies, wash the walls and upholstery and use lots of air fresheners. Not only will you smell better, but you’ll have less cravings.
SEE YOUR SAVINGS:
A 20 a day smoker will have saved £2,920 after a year of not smoking. Put all this extra money somewhere you can see it as a daily reminder of your progress. Treat yourself with the money you save, maybe book a holiday.