6 ways to quit smoking for good!
October has been designated ‘Stoptober’, a chance for smokers everywhere to finally stub out their bad habit. But giving up is easier said than done, so here’s a few handy tips from NiQuitin to help make sure your addiction goes up in smoke
1. Don’t go cold turkey
Some smokers manage to bear their cravings and simply stop – but most of us aren’t made that way, so cutting down makes more sense on the path to becoming smoke-free.
Research shows that almost a quarter of people who have ever quit smoking (23%) recommended would-be quitters start by cutting down on the number of cigarettes smoked to prepare for giving up, and that the majority of regular smokers (56%) are currently trying to cut down on the number of cigarettes they smoke. So rather than an all or nothing approach, try the softly, softly route.
2. Avoid other smokers
The fastest way to justify a bad habit, whether it’s cakes, booze or smoking, is to surround yourself with others doing the same thing. So if your partner or best friend is still sparking up, the chances are, you’ll give in. For the first couple of weeks, try to hang out with people who don’t smoke – spend the weekend staying with a non-smoking friend, or spend lunchtime at work catching up on emails instead of hanging out in Smokers’ Corner. It’s not forever – just till you break the habit.
3. Avoid smoking locations
One in three people who have ever quit smoking recommended would-be quitters avoid locations in which you might usually be tempted to smoke. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to miss nights out with your friends, but you might want to change your routine. Instead of finishing a meal and staying at the table where you might normally have a cigarette, instead get up and go for a walk, or go for a wander round the shops at lunchtime rather than heading to the park with sandwiches and cigarettes. Breaking the habit means changing your behaviour consciously.
4. Take advantage of quitting aids
Some ex-smokers find that e-cigarettes and vaping can help them on the road to quitting for good. These products can be expensive, but are generally considered much less harmful than cigarettes. Others prefer to avoid the act of smoking, and find that Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) products, such as lozenges or gum are useful to beat cravings. Be aware of when you’re most likely to give in – first smoke of the day, the pre-bed cigarette – and have your replacements to hand.
5. Work out how much you’ve saved
Close to a third of survey respondents (32%) said that working out the how much they’d saved by quitting helped them to avoid temptation and stay motivated, and 30 per cent suggested making your ‘quit plan’ known to friends and family so they can support you and make sure you stay on track. Seeing the savings pile up can be a useful visual reminder that there are benefits aside from health to giving up.
6. Use the internet
Over half of smokers find it useful to get support from friends and family when cravings strike, according to the NiQuitin research – that’s when social media comes into its own.
Meanwhile, a third of smokers trying to quit say that distracting themselves with videos or images on Facebook or YouTube is their go-to tactic to help beat their cravings. Try the Distract Me! series of popular YouTube videos to help keep your urges at bay.