Ask anyone who has quit smoking, and they will tell you it is one of the hardest things they have had to do. Most of them weren’t able to quit the first time they tried. It took persistence and willpower, but they got there in the end. Most importantly the rewards of being a non-smoker were well worth the effort.
There are some techniques and aids you can use to help you quit smoking. If one doesn’t work for you, try something different or a combination of techniques until you find one that helps you achieve your dream of being smoke-free.
1. Nicotine Replacements
The side effects of nicotine withdrawal make quitting hard for many people. Your body will crave its regular hit so you could try a nicotine replacement available as patches, gum, lozenges, tablets and inhalers.
2. Tell Everyone
If you’ve decided to quit, tell your friends, family members and work colleagues of your intention. They will be happy for you and offer their support. If they still smoke, they will know you are wanting to quit and shouldn't ask you to join them outside.
If you feel like having a cigarette, think back to the time they congratulated you and told you how happy that you're taking the first step to quitting. Imagine how you will feel if you have to tell them it hasn’t worked out and you’re still a smoker.
There are hypnotherapists that specialise in helping smokers quit. If you have the right mindset and want to quit, one or two sessions with a hypnotherapist can put you on the right path to success.
4. Quit Partner
Just like exercising regularly, if you have a friend or family member quit with you, you're more likely to succeed. When times are hard and you feel like a cigarette, you can give your quitting partner a call and talk it over. Also, you will be less likely to take up the habit if you will be letting down someone else. It’s not just you that you’re accountable for, it’s your partner as well.
5. Take up a New Activity
Keep yourself busy with a new sport or hobby. Recognise when you most often feel like a cigarette and busy yourself with a new activity. You may be able to play a vigorous sport now you are no longer smoking so register and enjoy the benefits or cleaner lungs and improved fitness levels.
6. Reward Yourself
Track your smoke-free days, weeks and months with an app. Celebrate milestones with a dinner out with family or friends. Recognise how much money you are now saving by not smoking. Buy yourself something special or pay a deposit on a family holiday knowing you can put the money towards something important.
It’s hard to quit smoking but there is support available. See your GP, visit the Quitline or call 13 7848.