Five self-help tips to quit smoking

If you’re a smoker wanting to give up, you don’t need to be told that it’s going to be tough – you probably already know that. But quitting could be the best thing you ever do, helping to improve your health and wellbeing – and putting the habit behind you for good. So, where do you start? What do you do when you get cravings? Who can support you? All questions you’re likely to have swirling around your head. Here are some tips to help set you on the path to a smoke-free life.

Don’t be defeatist It would be all too easy to say that giving up smoking is impossible, but you need to block out those thoughts and think positive. Forget all the times in the past that you’ve made half-hearted attempts that haven’t worked out. Now is the time you’re going to quit for good. Think about all the other occasions in your life when you have thought the mountain was too high to climb, but then you reached the summit.

Come up with a plan

If you’re going to have any realistic chance of quitting smoking for good, you need to set yourself some targets, some goals. Basically, get yourself a plan together. Set a deadline date for giving up and do all you can to stick it.

Identify your cravings

A craving for a cigarette can last for around five minutes, according to health experts. Think about when you get your cravings and a plan to escape them. For example, if you’re at a party, you could go dancing for a few minutes, go to the bar, or to catch up with a group of friends.

Also, look at your food and drink habits. One US study apparently found that some foods, including meat, can make cigarettes more appealing. But other foods, such as cheese, can make cigarettes taste awful. Maybe changing what you eat could help you kick the habit.

If you’re someone who gets a craving for a cigarette after a meal, then also think about ways of distracting yourself after you have eaten. You could tidy up, load the dishwasher and so on.

Research has also shown that drinks like alcohol, tea and coffee can make cigarettes taste better. If this rings a bell with you, try thinking about switching your drinks to water and juice. It could just do the trick.

Quit smoking products

There are all sorts of products on the market designed to help you quit smoking. These include tablets, patches and gum. You could also try e-cigarettes, with companies like Vape Club providing various types.

Seek help

You’re not alone. So, speak to your doctor and local pharmacist about what could work best for you. You should also be able to find specialist support services in your neighborhood, to help guide you on your journey to a smoke-free future.

It’s important to get the support of your family and friends too. Try to quit together, if there are a few of you looking to kick the habit.

Thanks to Carol Trehearn

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