As anyone who has successfully quit smoking knows, it can be an incredibly challenging experience, but there is help available in the form of a variety of quitting tools and support from other people.
There's never been a better time to quit smoking. Quitting success rates are the highest ever on record; cigarette packs are losing their attractiveness with the introduction of standardised packaging; and e-cigarettes, which many smokers find helpful for quitting, are now more tightly regulated than ever before to assure their safety and quality.
If you are a smoker, stopping smoking is the best thing you can do for your own health and the health of those around you. You will start to see the benefits very quickly, not only to your health but also to the money in your pocket.
You are five times more likely to stay smokefree if you can stop for 28 days, so if you're keen to give up there's loads of information available if you search, 'Stoptober' online to find out about the range of free and proven support available to help you start your quitting journey.
Don't stop there though, to ensure the best chance of making it smokefree, follow the tips below:
1. The quit list
Begin by writing out a list of reasons why you want to quit smoking. For example, think about how much money you'll save or the benefits to your health, perhaps you want to quit for your family. The list will not only reinforce your decision to stop smoking, but you'll also find it a handy tool to refer to on those difficult days when you feel your cravings are close to getting the better of you.
2. In the bin!
To help you stay strong and resist temptation during your days without smoking, throw away any last cigarettes, lighters or anything that reminds you of being a smoker. You can then make a clean smokefree start with no temptations.
3. Do what suits you
Remember, everyone. There is also information about the free expert face-to-face support that your local Stop Smoking Service can offer, as well as detail on the different types of stop smoking aids available, including medicines and e-cigarettes.
4. Give one of the many nicotine replacement therapies a try
Using nicotine replacement therapies can double your chances of quitting smoking for good. As well as e-cigarettes, there are patches, there are tablets, lozenges, gum and a nasal spray. Use these for as long as you need to stop smoking and stay smokefree.
There is no need to suffer physically or emotionally when you are trying to quit. If you have tried and been unsuccessful in your quit attempt the past, speak to your GP about prescription medicines.
6. Take up some form of physical activity
When you stop smoking, you'll be on the hunt for things to take your mind off cigarettes. Research shows you could be up to twice as likely to stay smokefree for 12 months or more if you combine physical activity with your quit attempt. Moving more eases nicotine withdrawal symptoms when you first quit smoking. It distracts you from thoughts of smoking and can improve your mood. It also helps you cope with stress and feel more energetic. It doesn't stop there, your muscle tone will improve, you'll feel a greater sense of accomplishment and your sleep will be improved. Taking at least one brisk ten minute walk a day has been shown to reduce the risk of early death by 15%. So why not download the Active 10 app, which shows how much brisk walking you are currently doing and provides tips and encouragement on how to fit ten minute bursts of brisk walking into your daily routine.
7. Break your routines and be honest with yourself
For many people, smoking is a ritual that is often associated with certain times in their daily routine, so it's a good idea to prepare yourself for some of the triggers that make you feel like having a cigarette.
It is important to be honest with yourself and know what your smoking triggers are so you can prepare to deal with them. By writing them out and identifying ways around them for the first week or so, you will stand a better chance of remaining smokefree.
To keep you motivated, remember that cravings and temptations to smoke, whilst intense, don't last long - just a few minutes.
8. Get some extra stop smoking support
If friends or family members want to give up too, suggest to them that you give up together.
There is also support available from your local stop smoking service.Those who use stop smoking aids and who get face-to-face support from their local stop smoking service are up to four times more likely to quit successfully
It's never too late to start your quitting journey, search 'Stoptober' for all the support you need to quit: www.nhs/uk/oneyou/stoptober