We all know the danger of smoking cigarettes, but lots of people continue to smoke. Whether you’ve tried quitting before or you’re ready to make a change, today’s article will give you lots of helpful tips to quit smoking. Giving up smoking can reduce your risks of several common medical conditions and help you live a healthier life.
Stop Smoking Tips
Below you’ll find lots of tried and tested tips to help you stop smoking for good. There are also lots of useful services available to help you quit – see the NHS website for more.
1. Think About Your Habits
Experts say that the key to giving up smoking is understanding what kind of smoker you are. Think about how many cigarettes you smoke each day and any places, people, or activities you associate with smoking. Are you a social smoker? Do you find yourself craving a cigarette after a meal or with an alcoholic drink? Once you understand these triggers, you will be better equipped to avoid them.
2. Set a Date to Quit Smoking
Lots of people try to give up smoking and fail because they aren’t prepared to make a change. Make sure you’re ready to stop smoking by taking some time to get ready. Set a quit date within the next week or two. This will give you several days to prepare before you stop smoking, to give you the best chance of success. For example, if you often smoke at work, try quitting on the weekend.
3. Throw Away Your Cigarettes
By the time your quit date comes, you might still have some cigarettes left, but it’s important to throw them away. You should also get rid of lighters, ashtrays, and other smoking-related objects. In addition, it might be helpful to wash any clothes and clean anything that smells of cigarette smoke. The idea behind this is to remove anything that might tempt you to smoke again. Having cigarettes in the house will make you far more likely to smoke again when the cravings kick in.
4. Get Ready to Cope with Withdrawal Symptoms
Once you stop smoking, you’ll likely feel a few withdrawal symptoms. If you prepare for these in advance, you’ll have a better chance of resisting the cravings. Withdrawal symptoms can include irritability, anxiety, headaches, and difficulty concentrating. Remember that these symptoms are temporary – they’ll go away once your body has flushed out all the cigarette toxins. Let your friends and family know that you’re quitting, so they can understand any changes in your behaviour.
5. Beat the Cravings
When you give up smoking, you’ll probably encounter some cravings for a while. It’s difficult to avoid them, but you can find ways to overcome them. Here are a few tips:
- Find something to do with your hands – fiddle with a pen or a stress toy to keep your hands busy.
- Distract your mind – play a game on your phone, read a magazine, or listen to some music until the craving passes.
- Get moving – exercise can be helpful way to beat your cravings. Go for a quick walk around the block or do some stretches at home.
- Try lighting a candle or some incense instead of a cigarette.
6. Use Nicotine Replacement Products
Lots of people try to quit smoking cold turkey. While this can be successful, you’re twice as likely to stop smoking for good with nicotine replacement therapy. There are a range of products available, including patches, gum, nasal spray, and inhalators (which look and feel like plastic cigarettes). Patches release nicotine slowly while inhalators and gum act quickly to help you beat cravings as they arise. E-Cigarettes (or vapes) are popular among those trying to quit smoking. However, it’s not yet clear whether vaping poses any long-term health risks. As such, they are not available on the NHS.
7. Learn From Any Slip-Ups
Choosing to stop smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. Lots of people try to quit several times before it sticks and they give up smoking for good. With this in mind, don’t beat yourself up if you find yourself slipping up and reaching for a cigarette. Instead, use this slip-up as a learning curve. Ask yourself what made you smoke again? Think about all the hard work you’ve put in and be proud of how far you’ve come. Most importantly, make sure to get rid of any cigarettes that are still in the house, especially if you’ve bought a new pack.
Stay Healthy, Stay Safe
For some extra motivation, why not read our top 10 reasons to quit smoking?
Giving up smoking is one of the healthiest choices you can make. For more information, click here to read our guide to healthy living.
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Editor’s Note: This article was updated on November 11th 2021 to reflect current information.