Friday, 8 March 2013

Quit smoking for the last time!

Friday 13th March is approaching and as well as the usual superstitions, it is also 'No Smoking Day'  - a fantastic opportunity to finally kick the habit once and for all! 

Overall, tobacco smoking is estimated to be responsible for more than a quarter of cancer related deaths in the UK, that’s over 100, 000 deaths a year. Furthermore, the average smoker will spend more than £2700 a year on cigarettes. The dangers and costs of smoking are well publicised, but despite the facts, it can still be a huge struggle to quit. However, other people have successfully quit before you - follow these tips to get one step closer to completing the challenge.

  • Don’t keep putting it off. Plan to quit on the 13th March and do it! 
  • Studies have shown combining medicine with social support is the most successful method for quitting. So, get prepared before the big day. Talk to your pharmacist or GP about possible nicotine replacement therapies and let your friends and family know you're quitting so they can support you through it. 
  • If you're highly dependent on cigarettes, (e.g. smoke more than 30 a day and need one as soon as you wake up), you will need nicotine replacement therapies such strong patches, gum, or nasal spray. 
  • If you are moderately dependent, medium strength patches or gum should help. Perhaps you could try electronic cigarettes to help with the habitual aspects of smoking, such as having one with a coffee, etc. 
  • If you believe you're only slightly addicted to smoking, do not underestimate the challenge. You may be able to quit through willpower alone but nicotine patches/ gum can make it easier. 
  • Everyone has their own personal reasons for quitting, but make sure you want it. If you are trying to quit simply because you feel you should, you will be unlikely to succeed, and it may deter you from future quitting attempts. 
  • Write it down. Putting your goals on paper has been proven to increase success, you could even hang a 'days since last cigarette' poster in the house to remind you of your achievement. 
  • Have a plan for how you're going to deal with tempting situations such as going to the pub or a stressful day at work. Exercise is a better way to handle stress but it may be necessary to avoid going to the pub with smoking friends for the first few days. 
  • If you're worried about weight gain, stock your cupboards with tasty and healthy snacks. Smoking clogs your taste buds, so when you quit it is tempting to eat more and it gives your hands something to do. However, once you have quit you will be amazed how much more active you are able to be so the extra couple of pounds you may have gained can quickly be lost. 
  • The most crucial component to quitting is believing in yourself. Choose a role model that has quit and keep remembering that if they can do it, you can do it too. 
  • There are dozens of online resources to help you quit. Joining chat forums to talk to others who are going through the same process can give you that much needed support. 

If you want to know more about 'No Smoking Day' or for extra tips on quitting visit:

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