Whilst smoking is a habit that is in decline, that doesn’t mean that it has disappeared forever. In fact, in the UK, smoking is still something that many people do on a daily basis. During 2018 14.7% of adults in the UK were smokers and whilst this is down from 15.1% the previous year, there is still work to do in order to discourage more people from starting to smoke and also help current smokers to quit.
There has been plenty of published information regarding smoking and the dangers that it can pose to your health. It is important to know that it is actually the leading cause of preventable diseases, conditions and even death. Of course, most people think of cancer being the main health risk associated with smoking, but there are numerous other serious health conditions which can arise from this habit. The risk of heart disease, for example, is higher in individuals who smoke, as is the risk of stroke. Research also indicates that the devastating neurodegenerative disease, ALS, may also be more likely to develop in smokers compared to non-smokers.
Knowing this should be an inspiration enough for you to quit smoking. That said, it can be incredibly hard to actually kick the habit and stop for good.
So, if you are someone who wants to stop smoking, but you are not quite sure where to start, then why not take a look at our top 5 tips when it comes to giving up smoking?
Make yourself a plan to quit smoking with all the reasons that you want to quit
When it comes to quitting smoking, one of the things that you are going to need to have is plenty of reason to quit. Some people want to quit because they want to be healthy, they want to take better care of themselves and those around them. Some people quit because they want to save money, some just because they have decided that enough is enough.
No matter your reasons behind deciding to stop smoking, the thing to remember is that you are doing it for a reason. Make a list of those reasons and display them somewhere that is easy to see, that way, when you are finding things tough, then you are going to easily find the focus that you need to keep on going.
Try and stay as positive as possible
Have you already tried to quit smoking? Did you not quite manage it? If this is true for you, then you are likely to think that it is pointless trying again. You may also think that you are destined for failure. One thing that you absolutely have to make sure that you do is make sure that you try and stay as positive as possible.
Don’t think about how you failed in the past, think about how you are going to move forward now. That way you are always looking forward and you are never looking back.
Know when you are likely to have a craving
Cravings can differ from person to person. Whilst some find that stressful times cause them to crave a cigarette, others can find that they feel that they are more likely to crave a cigarette when they are out with friends socialising. If you can recognise when it is likely that you are going to have a craving, then you are going to be better prepared to fight that craving and not give in to your desire to smoke.
Always look for support
It can be hard to recognise when you need help, however, sometimes a little support is all you need. There are a wealth of places that you can turn to for support. There are professional support services such as local stop smoking groups, as well as free helplines including the NHS Smokefree helpline.
Of course there is always your friends and family members that you can turn to. Speak to them about what you are doing and how you are feeling too, you never know, they could have some amazing advice that you may not have even realised.
Even better, if you know someone who also wants to give up smoking, then get together and quit at the same time. That way you can bother offer support to one another.
Remember there is no such thing as one last cigarette
When you quit, you quit. Which means that there is no such thing as “one last cigarette” or just having one every now and then. You need to tell yourself that you cannot ever have another cigarette, else there is never going to be an end point for you and your habit. Giving up smoking is never easy, but, with the right help and the right mindset, it is something that you can do. Be positive, be patient and stay focused and in no time at all, the idea of smoking will seem like a distant memory to you!