Get some support
Seeking support when trying to quit smoking is essential and it's really hard to go it alone. If any of your friends or family members have decided to quit why not try quitting together so that you can support each other. Also there are many services which can help you such as NHS Smoking helpline and your local GP who can give you advice and support. Online Doctor Services can also be of help providing tips, advice and guidance. Mobile Phone apps are also very popular with those wanting to quit and can give you some speedy, much needed advice when your cravings kick in.
Make a list of reasons to quit
Making a list of reasons to quit can really help as you can refer back to this when you are feeling the urge to smoke. Everyone has their own reasons for quitting so make a list personal to you?.maybe you want to be healthier or save money, either way make your list accessible so that you can refer back to it when you are feeling the urge. Here are some examples if you are struggling:
- I will be less likely to get sick
- My skin will look healthier, and I will look more youthful
- I will have more money to spend
- I will have more energy to do the things I love with friends and family
- I will breathe easier and cough less
Try Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), available from your pharmacy, may help you quit. These come in patches, gum, lozenges, microtabs, inhalators and sprays. They release low levels of nicotine into your bloodstream, without the other poisonous chemicals present in cigarettes. This helps curb cravings as your body is still getting a steady supply of nicotine.
Stop-smoking tablets - Champix (varenicline) and Zyban (bupriopion) - can also help. These are available on prescription and reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Electronic cigarettes (?e-cigarettes') produce a vapour that gives a nicotine hit but is thought to be less harmful than tobacco smoke. Clinical trials are underway to assess the effectiveness of e-cigarettes.
Break the links that create the habit
You probably associate certain places, times and people with having a cigarette. For example you may always smoke when you are out with friends or you may have a smoke after finishing a meal. Try to avoid situations that you associate with smoking when first trying to give up. If you think you will be tempted to smoke then do something different, such as taking a short walk after a meal instead.
Remember that ?just one cigarette' will often lead to another. Keep reminding yourself of the health and other benefits of stopping smoking. If using nicotine replacement therapy make sure you take the full course. Cravings increase in intensity for up to 3 minutes and then subside, so try to distract yourself (for example by deep breathing) during this time to allow the urge to pass.