Ways to Stop Smoking
Remember the 4Ds, they may help: Delay, Deep breath, Drink water, Do something else.
Willpower is the most important factor if you want to stop smoking. Before you give up make a list of all the reasons not to smoke. These may include things like health, money, the effect it will have on your children, the smell - anything. Keep this list with you at all times to remind you why you want to stop. Ask your family and friends to support you. If you are sure that you want to stop and are certain of your reasons then it will be easier to stick it out.
1. Stick on a Patch
It wont instantly stop you craving as you have become addicted to nicotine. But it will make withdrawal much easier.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
If you do start smoking again then have a break, try not to feel guilty and when you are ready you can begin the whole process again.
2. Shun Stimulants
It may also help to cut down on coffee, at least for the first few weeks as without nicotine in your system you absorb twice as much caffeine. The last thing you need when you're trying to beat cravings is to feel jittery and anxious. Avoid tea, alcohol and chocolate during the early weeks of quitting smoking. The reason is they increase your desire for a cigarette. Drink plenty of juices and caffeine free drinks, lots of water which is good for you anyway.
3. Seek Help
Try hypnosis, acupuncture, consult a therapist. It doesn't suit everyone though many smokers have admitted this helpful when combined with other methods. A local support group will also provide encouragement.
4. Keep Busy
Fill up your spare time with activities to keep your mind off wanting a cigarette. Boredom usually leads to an illicit puff. Those who exercise regularly are less likely to smoke again.
Think of quitting as part of a new healthier lifestyle. Try to get more exercise, even if it's just taking the stairs instead of the lift, or walking to the shops.
5. Eat Healthily
Giving up smoking makes you want to snack more. Avoid junk food and sweets. Fill yourself up with fresh fruit and vegetables. Chewing gum (sugar-free) can help you resist the urge to nibble!
6. Don't be Tempted
Don't despair if you do give in to temptation. Many ex-smokers are successful the first time, but many more manage to stop on the second or third attempt.
7. Throw away all your cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays.
8. No excuses
Do not allow yourself to make excuses. A crisis or a special occasion is not an excuse for a cigarette. One cigarette tends to lead to another.
9. You will save money
Use the money you have saved to treat yourself to a holiday, new clothes, a meal out or a CD.
What is in Cigarette Smoke?
Facts and Figures about smoking
How fast your body recovers?
To give up smoking is to withdraw from a drug and break a very powerful habit. It takes time to clear the body of nicotine. During this time your body is suffering from withdrawal symptoms which may include hunger, disturbed sleep and dreams, depression, light headedness, irritation, poor concentration and craving. If you are determined and do not give in these withdrawal symptoms should only last for up to a month.
In 12 hours - your blood is free of carbon monoxide;
in 2 days - the nicotine and its by-products are out of your system;
in around 3 months - your lungs regain the ability to clean themselves;
in 10 year - your risk of lung cancer is more than halved and continues to decline over time;
In a year - your risk of dying from heart disease has halved.
What if I quit?
Quitting smoking is the best thing most smokers can do to improve and protect their health – and the
sooner the better. Changes begin within a few hours and all nicotine and its by-products are gone from
your body within a few days. Many smokers notice improvements in their skin and sense of taste and
smell in as little as a week. More importantly, within three months your blood flow (notably to your hands
and feet) is getting back to normal, you will cough less and your lungs will have started to recover enough to
clear themselves of mucus. After just one year, you will have almost halved the risk of heart disease you faced
if you had kept smoking.You can expect in the longer term to suffer fewer infections, lose fewer workdays to
sickness, have a lower risk of strokes and cancers, and live longer.
QUIT: The national charity that helps people give up smoking.
Don't give up giving up: Links to a variety of websites offering help, information and inspiration relating to giving up smoking and how to stay stopped.
quitsmokinguk.com: The UK's online community for people who are trying to stop smoking.
Cancer Research UK: Reducing Your Risk. Quitting Smoking.