With a start to a new year, one of the most common goals is quitting smoking so here are some tips to help you quit smoking:
Find Your Reason
In order to truly give up smoking you need to have a powerful, personal reason to quit in order to stay motivated. Whether it be to lower your chances of lung cancer, to protect your family from second hand smoke or simply for financial reasons, choose a reason that is stronger than your urge to light up.
Preparation is Key
For anyone who has tried to quit smoking, you’ll be very aware that there’s so much more to it than just throwing the cigarettes out. Smoking is an addiction so you need to have a support group around you. Let your colleagues, friends and family know in advance of your quitting date. In addition, check out different apps that are available or online communities that may be of some assistance or support to you.
Consider Nicotine Replacement
Consider nicotine replacements such as nicotine gum, lozenges or nicotine patches to help curb your urges. Studies have shown that these replacements actually help so you might as well try them to increase your chances of success.
It tends to be more difficult to stick to your goal when you drink alcohol, particularly when you associate the two together, so limit your alcohol intake when you first quit. Likewise with other triggers such as coffee, if you previously associated coffee with smoking, perhaps it’s best to switch to tea for a while.
Clean Your House
Once you smoke your last cigarette, throw away all ashtrays and lighters. Wash all your clothes that may smell of smoke, and likewise clean carpets, curtains and other upholstery that the smell may linger on. Do the same with your car and use air fresheners galore, you want to get rid of anything, sights or smells that will remind you of smoking.
Find New Ways to Unwind
Many people find that smoking helps them relax, and so if you do quit you’ll need new ways to give yourself a break and unwind. But don’t worry, there are many ways to do so. For example, listening to music, reading a book, or taking a long bath may be what you find helps best. Or why not really embrace your new healthier lifestyle and take up a new hobby such as running, I promise you’ll feel so much better for it!
Remember the Health Benefits
The mind-set of a long-term smoker can be negative when they have an urge for a cigarette. People tend to use the excuse of “the damage is already done and so what’s the point in quitting now”, but think again. Within 20 minutes your circulation will improve, your heart rate and blood pressure will get lower. Within 24-48 hours all the carbon monoxide will have left your body. After 72 hours your breathing will improve and your energy levels will increase. Within 2 or 3 months your lung capacity can increase by up to 30%. Within 1 year your chance of heart attack drops by half and within 10 years the risk drops to almost the same as a non-smoker.
Choose a Reward
In addition to all the health benefits of quitting smoking, another reward you gain is the money you will save. There are online calculators such as this one here that will tell you how much you can save, so why not choose a reward for your one year anniversary such as a holiday and use that as your motivation to help you get through your cravings!
For more information on how to quit smoking, visit Quit.ie.