It is a well-known fact that smoking is bad for your health. It doesn’t matter how long you have smoked for, the benefits of stopping will always outweigh the risks. The sooner you stop, the better. There are so many benefits of stopping smoking and these are not all related to your health. Examples are:
- Preventing the development of serious smoking-related diseases such as COPD and peripheral artery disease
- Preventing the development of other conditions such as erectile dysfunction, infertility, eye cataracts, tooth loss and gum disease as well as many more
- Increasing your life expectancy. *See below*
- Breathing easier
- Having more energy
- Better sex life
- No longer smelling of cigarettes
- Save money- Smoking 20 cigarettes per day costs almost £3000 per year (based on an £8 packet of cigarettes)
So with the numerous potential benefits of stopping smoking, why not quit today?
Here at Simple Online Pharmacy, we know that it is easier said than done, however, we believe that with the right advice and guidance, you could be on your way to a healthier smoke-free lifestyle. Here are our top 10 tips to stop smoking:
1. Make a plan
One of the most important things you can do when trying to quit smoking is make your plan. Plan a quit date and stick to it. Give yourself plenty of time to mentally prepare. Have a think about the different scenarios you may face and the different obstacles you may need to overcome. Consider ways you will deal with these and you will feel better equipped to take on the challenge.
2. Make a list of reasons to quit
Think about all the reasons quitting smoking is important to YOU. Make a list of these and keep it safe for you to look at throughout your stop smoking process. It will give you motivation when things get tough.
3. Research your treatment options
Research the different smoking cessation treatment options that are available to you. There are various nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) options such as patches, lozenges and chewing gum as well as prescription only treatments such Varenicline. These give you the best chance of successfully stopping smoking-it is extremely hard to go cold turkey! Check out the different options here…
4. Think about your triggers
One of the main reasons people fail in their attempt to stop smoking is relapsing at times when they are used to having a cigarette. An example of this is smoking while drinking alcohol or having a cup of tea. It is hard to break daily habits, so you should think about all of these before you quit. Make a list of the times you would smoke or the triggers which would make you smoke. You should also consider factors such a stress or anxiety. If you would often have a cigarette when you feel stressed, think about what you will do instead. Some people have found that changing their daily drink to something different may help prevent cravings by association. Make a plan and you will be more likely to succeed.
5. Get support
Having a good support network is vital for successful smoking cessation. Tell your friends and family about your plans. Tell them why you want to quit and ask them to support you. They could text or call you to give you encouragement, or help to motivate you when you are feeling like giving up. There are also local support groups that you can attend or online or telephone councillors. See https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/quit-smoking/nhs-stop-smoking-services-help-you-quit/ for information on local support groups.
There is evidence to show that a little daily exercise can help to curb cravings associated with stopping smoking. Make it your part of your daily routine-take a walk on your lunch break or after work or go to the gym. Keeping active will also help prevent the weight gain which is sometimes associated with stopping smoking. A win-win all round!
7. Eat healthy
You don’t have to diet while you are stopping smoking; in fact it may be a bad idea to cut out your favourite foods as well cigarettes. It is a good idea, however, to eat healthy. Eat more fruit and vegetables as part of your diet. A healthier diet will make you feel better as well as prevent weight gain sometimes associated with stopping smoking. It is, however, to allow yourself an occasional treat of your favourite cake or biscuit-stopping smoking is hard work!
8. Collect the money you would normally spend
A great incentive to stop smoking is saving the money that you would normally spend on cigarettes. Put aside the money and save it for something special. You will be amazed at how quickly the money stacks up and it will let you see the financial benefits of stopping smoking. Buying or spending the money on something will also be a great way of rewarding yourself for a fantastic achievement.
9. Do something relaxing for yourself
Stopping smoking is a stressful task in itself. It is important to try and relax throughout your smoking cessation journey. If smoking normally helps to relax you, make sure you find another way of managing your stress. Taking up yoga or meditation is helpful for some people, whereas some people find treating themselves to a massage is a way of helping them relax. Whatever works for you is fine, as long as you try to relax.
10. Don’t give up
Perhaps the most important tip we can give you is to NOT give up. If you fail in your attempt to stop smoking, do not worry. Very few people succeed on their first attempt. It is important to take some time to reflect on your journey and where things went wrong, then make a plan for your next quit attempt. Keep trying and you will succeed!