Have you been toying with the idea of quitting cigarettes? You’re not alone. According to Public Health England, someone stops smoking in England every 80 seconds. But if you’ve been thinking of quitting for a long time, it can be hard to take the leap finally. Perhaps you’ve even tried before, but found yourself lighting up again? This can be disheartening. But with millions of people now living smoke-free, there’s no reason why you can’t, too! If you’re tired of smoking and ready to live a healthier lifestyle, here’s your ultimate guide to quitting!
Getting clear on the reasons you’re quitting
It’s no secret that quitting can be tough for some people. So you’ll need a lot of will power to put your plan into action. Before you do anything else, it’s a good idea to get firm on the reasons you want to quit. Perhaps it’s for your health, your family’s peace of mind, your finances, or any combination of these things. Whatever the reason, it can help to write it down and repeat it to yourself often. Then, when things get tough, you can refer back and give yourself a will power boost. Just wanting to quit might not be enough in the dark times. But knowing that you want to save £1,000 for your dream family holiday, or that you want to see your grandchildren grow up, will be much more persuasive when temptation strikes.
Rallying the troops
Once you’ve got clear on your reasons, it can help to get your family and friends on board. Many quitters find it helpful to have a support team that can encourage them and remind them of their goals when the going gets tough. If you have friends or colleagues who you usually go outside to smoke with, it’s a great idea to tell them ahead of time that you’ll be quitting. That way, they can resist inviting you outside or offering you a cigarette. You might even find that they have been thinking about stopping too, and you could end being each other’s support team. Either way, it’s much easier to embark on this journey with some support.
Getting professional support
Your friends and family might be on board, but sometimes that’s not enough. They can’t be expected to know the best ways to support you. Plus, if you’ve been smoking for a long time or you are heavily addicted, you might need medical support to help you achieve your goals. Many people find that speaking to their GP helps. There are special initiatives designed to help people quit, and lots of research has gone into making these a success. Why not make the most of the free support available? You might also find that hypnotherapy or support groups work well for you, too.
Your GP will most likely offer you nicotine replacement products to help you quit. This is because smokers are often physically addicted to nicotine, so going cold turkey can be challenging. The idea is that you start on a moderate dose of nicotine and then gradually wean down over weeks or months until you’re no longer nicotine dependent. There are many different products available to suit your preferences and lifestyle. You could use lozenges, gum, or patches that gradually release nicotine. Your doctor can advise you on the best course of action for your circumstances.
Many quitters try vaping to reduce their nicotine intake gradually. This can be an excellent option for some people, as the action resembles smoking. People who have smoked for many years like the comfort and routine of this action while they quit. Try a vape with a delicious flavour to help the process.
Although you can get nicotine gum, some people successfully quit smoking using regular chewing gum. Others might use it alongside their nicotine treatment. It is said that chewing gum can help to reduce your cravings and help with withdrawal symptoms, so you might want to give it a try.
Avoiding trigger situations
Sometimes while you’re in the process, it helps to steer clear of situations that will make you want to smoke. Many people associate smoking with drinking alcohol or being out in the pub. You won’t need to avoid this forever, but perhaps while you’re in the early stages of quitting, it’ll be less tempting if you arrange to meet friends in more neutral territory.
It’s well known that quitting nicotine can leave you feeling frazzled, stressed, and even angry. So having good coping mechanisms is vital. Lots of people take up meditation or try relaxing hypnosis audio guides to help them ride the waves of withdrawal. Exercise can also help to relieve stress and give you a huge endorphin boost. Many new non-smokers love to exercise, as it reminds them of their ever-increasing lung capacity now that they’re smoke-free.