Most smokers have had the same advice on how to give up, whether that’s to use nicotine patches or stock up on gum. But if it was that easy, there wouldn’t be any smokers left. That’s why our tips on how to get through the process of ditching cigarettes could really help those on their way to being smoke-free.
Find a reason to do it
Before you have fully committed to giving up smoking, you are bound to find an excuse to start again.
Your reason to quit might be that you’ve had a health scare, you’re pregnant, or you don’t want your children to inhale cigarette smoke; if you do not have a purpose that is driving you to quit smoking, you are unlikely to go through with it.
“Other people telling me to stop did not help. It helps temporarily but in the long term, I ended up going back on it because it wasn’t coming from me and my own realisation,” one former smoker told Cancer Research.
Join a community
Doing anything big, bold and out of your comfort zone alone is always intimidating, whether you want to lose weight or give up smoking. That is why it is wise to establish a support network even before you have smoked your last cigarette.
If you continue to surround yourself with smokers, it will not only be difficult to avoid smoking but you’ll lose motivation to quit, thinking you’ll be the odd one out if you do.
That is why it is good to join an online community on a social networking site or find pals who want to give up at the same time. You can all encourage each other and find support on those difficult days.
Being able to meet up with people without having to stand around while they smoke will also help, as there is less temptation to light up.
To give yourself the best chance of success, it is important to prepare for quitting. As well as creating a support network and getting some smoking aids, such as nicotine patches or medication, it is sensible to reduce the amount you smoke.
This way you don’t have to go cold turkey, which will exaggerate withdrawal symptoms and make it ten times harder to stick to. By cutting down prior to quitting, you can begin to break a few habits, such as smoking after dinner or while on the phone.
Tackling each habit at a time is considerably easier than trying to do them all at once.
Swap to e-cigarettes
For the same reason, it has been shown to be effective to swap to e-cigarettes when trying to quit smoking, as they can still give a nicotine kick.
When broken down in numbers, this means of the 2.5 million vapers in the UK, 600,000 are using vapes as a quit smoking aid, and 1.2 million have managed to banish cigarettes completely.