Eight tips to help you quit smoking

It is now widely known that smoking is bad for your health. And that means that kicking the habit will improve your wellbeing and help you live a healthier life. 

From small things, such as making your teeth look whiter and improving your energy levels, to bigger benefits such as improved lung capacity, better fertility and reduced chances of smoking-related diseases, including cancer, quitting smoking will have a huge positive impact on your quality of life. 

To help you start your life without cigarettes, here are some helpful tips to make quitting smoking easier.

1. Stay positive

If you’ve tried to quit before but didn’t manage it, you may worry that you can’t do it this time either but this isn’t necessarily the case. Starting your journey with a positive attitude that ignores your previous attempt is the best way to set yourself up for success.

Think about what you learnt from your previous attempt and use those insights to help you this time. Believing that you can quit will help you achieve your goal.

2. Get support

Quitting smoking is harder if you’re doing it on your own, so make sure you have support. This can be friends, family members, an online community or a support group in your area. If you’re not sure where to go for support, talk to your GP as they can give you helpful information.

3. Make a plan

Make a realistic plan to help you achieve your goal. Decide how many cigarettes you want to cut down by every day or week, or even pick a date for your final cigarette and make sure you stick to it.

If you’re going to be in situations that would generally see you smoke, make sure you plan to avoid temptation, even if this means leaving early. Try to avoid triggers as much as possible until you feel more comfortable not smoking.

4. Try nicotine replacements

Nicotine replacement therapy can help you deal with cravings without having to light up a cigarette. Your GP can give you more information but chewing gum, patches, sprays, lozenges and inhalers can all provide relief from cravings while also helping you reduce your nicotine dependence.

It’s worth noting that while many people use electronic cigarettes more research is needed into their effectiveness and also potential health impacts.

5. Delay your cravings

Tobacco cravings can last up to 15-20 minutes but they can be derailed. When a craving hits, avoid giving in (even if this means using a nicotine replacement) for 20 minutes. You should keep yourself busy during this time to distract yourself as this may be enough to get past the craving.

6. Don’t have “just one”

It’s easy to say that you’ll just have one cigarette and that will be it, but that one cigarette can be enough to undo all your progress. In many cases, smoking one cigarette can lead to many more and may result in your tobacco dependency returning.

Don’t give in to temptation. Instead, have a plan for different distraction techniques so you can avoid having “just one”.

7. Stay active

Not only is regular exercise good for your health, but it can also help you beat cravings. Going for a walk, a five-minute stretch, hitting the gym or swimming can help distract you from your nicotine cravings. Research also suggests that exercise may even help your brain produce anti-craving chemicals.

8. Track your progress

Keeping track of your progress lets you see how far you’ve come. It can also help with staying positive and avoiding relapses.

We hope you've found this article useful, however, it cannot be a substitute for a consultation with a specialist

If you're concerned about symptoms you're experiencing or require further information on the subject, talk to a GP or see an expert consultant at your local Spire hospital.

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Author Information

Cahoot Care Marketing

Niched in the care sector, Cahoot Care Marketing offers a full range of marketing services for care businesses including: SEO, social media, websites and video marketing, specialising in copywriting and content marketing.

Over the last five years Cahoot Care Marketing has built an experienced team of writers and editors, with broad and deep expertise on a range of care topics. They provide a responsive, efficient and comprehensive service, ensuring content is on brand and in line with relevant medical guidelines.

Their writers and editors include care sector workers, healthcare copywriting specialists and NHS trainers, who thoroughly research all topics using reputable sources including the NHS, NICE, relevant Royal Colleges and medical associations.

The Spire Content Hub project was managed by:

Lux Fatimathas, Editor and Project Manager

Lux has a BSc(Hons) in Neuroscience from UCL, a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and experience as a postdoctoral researcher in developmental biology. She has a clear and extensive understanding of the biological and medical sciences. Having worked in scientific publishing for BioMed Central and as a writer for the UK’s Medical Research Council and the National University of Singapore, she is able to clearly communicate complex concepts.

Catriona Shaw, Lead Editor

Catriona has an English degree from the University of Southampton and more than 12 years’ experience copy editing across a range of complex topics. She works with a diverse team of writers to create clear and compelling copy to educate and inform.

Alfie Jones, Director — Cahoot Care Marketing

Alfie has a creative writing degree from UCF and initially worked as a carer before supporting his family’s care training business with copywriting and general marketing. He has worked in content marketing and the care sector for over 10 years and overseen a diverse range of care content projects, building a strong team of specialist writers and marketing creatives after founding Cahoot in 2016.