Wednesday 11th March is National No Smoking Day – a UK-wide initiative that encourages people to break the habit and quit for good.
Whether you’re trying to give up smoking or supporting a friend or family member who wants to quit, national No Smoking Day is the perfect opportunity to get started.
Tips to help you quit
The dangers of smoking are well documented; few people whether they are smokers or non-smokers fail to realise the risk smoking causes to their health and wellbeing. But as any smoker knows – quitting is often easier said than done.
If you’re ready to say goodbye to smoking, you’re not alone – there are dozens of places you can look for support and resources to help you kick the habit once and for all. Here’s some simple tips to help you quit.
Choose a quit day
Mark your calendar and choose a day to quit – it will help you monitor your progress as you go. Why not start on No Smoking Day?
Know your reasons why
Write down a list of reasons you want to quit. List everything that comes to mind – your reasons can be as broad as saving money, better breath, or wanting to make sure you see your grandchildren grow up. Put the list somewhere you can see it and refer to it to help keep you on track as you go.
Speak to your doctor
Did you know the NHS offers a wealth of resources to help you quit smoking? Make an appointment with your GP and find out what support is available to you. Online, the brilliant Smokefree portal is packed with helpful – and free! – tips.
Reinvest the money
Figure out how much you usually spend on cigarettes and reinvest that money into something special. Put the money in a jar as a visual way to track your progress and after you reach a milestone use that money to treat yourself.
Studies show that as little as five minutes exercise – a short walk or stretch is enough! – can help curb the urge to smoke and help your brain produce anti-craving chemicals.
Consider nicotine replacement or e-cigarettes
Quitting aids can be incredibly helpful in the early days when you’re fighting cravings and trying to break a longstanding habit. Nicotine replacement therapy can more than double your chances of stopping smoking, so speak to your GP if you think this might be right for you. E-cigarettes are also among the most effective methods for quitting – a study from 2015 showed 2 out of 3 people used them to quit smoking successfully with the help of the NHS.
One cigarette often leads to another – practice saying no, and if you’re worried about being tempted, ask for support from friends and family when you’re out in social situations where you may be tempted. If you do have a cigarette, resist thinking you’ve failed – we all have setbacks, but it’s better to keep going than start again later.
Have you quit smoking? Share your experiences in the comments below!