We’re not going to lie to you: stopping smoking isn’t easy. In fact, for those who are long-time smokers, it might be one of the hardest things you’ll do. That doesn’t mean you should give up. There are lots of benefits that make it worthwhile, especially in the long term.
It’s not only about improving your health, which stopping smoking undoubtedly does. It’s also about saving money and creating a healthier environment for anyone who lives with you. There is a reason sales listings often say “comes from a smoke-free home” too.
But it is difficult, which is why it can work to learn what’s worked for others. That’s why we’ve compiled this list. Here are four tips for stopping smoking that actually work.
List your reasons to quit
When you stop smoking, one of the most challenging things is staying on track and not giving in to temptation. When cravings kick in, it can be hard to remind yourself of why you quit in the first place, which is why it’s time to make a list.
Note down all of the reasons you want to quit, whether it’s to create a smoke-free environment for your other half or to save ‘x’ amount of money each year. Then carry this around in your pocket or purse. Whenever you’re tempted to give up, read your list three times, take a deep breath, and push those urges away.
Tell people you’re quitting
It can also be helpful to tell people you’re quitting. Not only does this put pressure on you to stick to your decision, but it means your friends, family, and colleagues can give you a gentle nudge in the right direction if you feel like you’re going to give in to the urge to smoke again.
Don’t go cold turkey
Going cold turkey is commendable, but most people find it doesn’t work. That’s because the quicker you take your crutch away, the more likely you are to fall. It’s okay to wean yourself off cigarettes gradually, and stop smoking aids can help with this. There are lots to choose from, from nicotine patches to Pablo pouches.
Most of these work by delivering a nicotine kick. While a lot of people think nicotine is harmful, the UK’s NHS website says it’s the thousands of other chemicals in tobacco smoke that cause most of the damage. This means that by substituting one for the other, you’ll instantly be giving your body an easier time. You can then gradually wean yourself off these substitutes or find permanent alternatives that are less damaging to your health.
Know your triggers – and avoid them
Stopping smoking is easier in some scenarios than others. For example, when you’re at home and can keep your mind busy, it’s likely to be simpler than when you’re in a social situation where other people are having a cigarette.
That’s why it’s important to know your triggers and avoid them. If you’re more likely to smoke around certain people, keep a distance from them for a while or at least avoid going outside with them if they’re lighting up. Equally, if you know you smoke when you’re hungry and don’t want to binge, review your diet and look at healthy snacks you can enjoy between meals. It’s all about setting yourself up for success.
Isn’t it time you started your journey to going smoke-free and successfully quitting?
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