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How To Stop Smoking

Most smokers want to stop smoking and with one in four people in the UK smoking, that's a lot of people. Yest smoking is just about the worst thing you can do to your health. Nicotine is very addictive, and so giving up smoking can be difficult. Some people manage to quit smoking on their own, and using something like nicotine replacement products can help, and others need support and help. Others only succeed in stopping after several attempts. However much you smoke, giving up is always the best option.

How To Stop Smoking - The Six Steps To Success

  1. Decide To Stop Smoking. You will only succeed in stopping smoking when you are ready, really ready, and this will need your total commitment if you are going to succeed. Our recommended books on how to stop smoking can be a wonderful source of motivation to spur you into action. This is also a good example of goal setting, and a knowledge of goal setting techniques can help you achieve the result you want.

  2. Prepare To Stop Smoking. It is a good idea to decide on a 'quit day' and work towards this. The most popular quit days are No Smoking Day, New Year's Day or your birthday.

  3. Stop Smoking. Many people succeed by just stopping, but it is worth looking at all the tips and ideas that can make this more successful. Complementary therapies can help, such as hypnotherapy (See our CD on Using Hypnotherapy To Stop Your Smoking Habit), acupuncture or Emotional Freedom Technique (Also called EFT or Tapping).

  4. Get Over Your Addiction To Nicotine. Nicotine is a very addictive drug, and you will experience withdrawal symptoms. The best way to get through this period is just an hour at a time and a day at a time. The first three days are the worst, and withdrawal symptoms will come several times a day. However each bout will last for less than three minutes, though it can seem  much longer when it is happening to you. Look at the clock and hang on. Nicotine Replacement Therapy can help to minimise the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms by giving you a controlled dose of nicotine, which is lowered over a period of weeks. This can also help you overcome the smoking habits without experiencing the full withdrawal symptoms at the same time, though it does prolong the time taken to stop. Some people become addicted to the nicotine replacement instead of the cigarettes, which isn't the idea, but at least you don't inhale the nasty chemicals in cigarette smoke. Popular brands to use are Nicorette , Nicotinell and Niquitin .

  5. Get Rid Of The Smoking Habits. There are many habits you acquire as a smoker that prompt you to smoke, and you need to overcome these habits and replace them with healthy ones.

    What habits prompt you to smoke -

    • When you wake up?
    • With your first coffee?
    • Driving to work?
    • Cigarette breaks
    Replace these with healthy habits -
    • Be more active. Go for a walk. Walk all or part way to work. Take the stairs not the lift.
    • Relax more. Take some time each day to relax doing something you enjoy.
    • Take more interest in what you eat. You will soon be able to taste food again, so take more interest in what you eat, and start looking for the healthier options. Smoking may have let you skip breakfast without being hungry because nicotine interferes with your blood sugar balance. This won't happen when you stop smoking, so eat breakfast and eat regularly, otherwise you will have an energy slump.
    • Watch your weight. Stopping smoking doesn't cause you to gain weight unless you start to comfort eat or eat more. Spread out the amount you eat now in smaller meals spread through the day will help, as will a bit of exercise.
    • Introduce the habits that you want to be part of the new healthier you.
  6. Staying Stopped. This is the hardest part. Remember that you will never, ever, be able to have even one cigarette again. Nicotine is so addictive that smoking one cigarette makes you a smoker again. It isn't easy to stop, and it often takes more than one go to stay stopped. If this happens to you, don't give up. Each time you give up you learn more and become stronger. Each time gets easier. Make sure you keep up with the healthy habits you started.

Who Would Like To Stop Smoking?

  • The majority of current smokers (70%) in Britain would like to stop smoking and over half have made a serious stopping attempt in the past five years.
  • How many people have managed to stop smoking? In the UK today, an estimated 11 million adults (27% of men and 21% of women) have stopped smoking.

Facts You Need To Know About Smoking

Smoking is the worst thing you can do to your health. Everybody knows that, and yet in the UK today, around 13 million adults (28 % of men and 26% of women) smoke cigarettes. Around one in ten teenagers in the UK is a regular smoker. By aged 15, more than one in five children have smoked.

So why do these people smoke? Well, most smokers start young. It's still an 'image' thing. Wanting to appear as 'grown up' as their friends who smoke. Not wanting to be the 'odd one out'. Boredom and lack of satisfaction with life can also play their part.

Once you've started you're hooked. Nicotine is very addictive, and the addiction produces tolerance, and your body gets used to having nicotine. So you need to smoke just a bit more to get the same effect, and so gradually over time your one cigarette a day becomes five a day, and then you are smoking forty a day without realising how you got to this stage.

You now smell like an ash tray, cough like a bronchitic, and burn your money away into thin air every day. Your health is poor, you get every cold that is going around. Your skin looks grey, dry and wrinkled. You are constantly stressed and tense. If you don't look and feel this bad, don't congratulate yourself, because as a smoker you soon will. It's just a matter of time!

So you decide to cut down. In fact you try this several times, because however hard you try you just keep going back to the old habit, and smoking as many as before.

So you decide to give up. Almost everyone who smokes tries to give up. If it was easy there would be an awful lot of ex-smokers, but it just isn't that easy. Nicotine's addiction has a powerful hold over most smokers that is difficult to break. Coupled with the fact that most smokers don't really want to give up anyway. Not really. Because most smokers can't even imagine a life without smoking. As soon as they feel a bit stressed, or go down to the pub, they are hooked again.

If you smoke 20 cigarettes a day for 20 years it has cost you £30.000 at today's prices.

The Effects Of Smoking -

  • Every year around 114,000 people die from smoking, accounting for a fifth of all deaths in the UK
  • Half of long-term smokers will die prematurely from smoking, with those dying in middle age losing on average 21 years of life.
  • One in four smoking related deaths in the UK is from cardiovascular (heart and circulation) disease. Although lung cancer is the disease most commonly associated with smoking, cardiovascular disease is the bigger cause of death from smoking.
  • Secondhand smoke exposure equivalent to just 1 per cent of that of active smoking carries a risk of coronary heart disease almost half that of smoking 20 cigarettes a day. In the UK many hundreds of heart disease deaths each year can be attributed to passive smoking

If You Stop Smoking -

  • To stop smoking at any age reduces the chances of dying. The greatest benefits are found the earlier the smoking cessation takes place.
  • When you stop smoking there is a rapid, partial decline in the risk of coronary heart disease (about 50% decline in excess risk within 1 year of cessation), followed by a more gradual decline, with risks reaching those of never smokers after a number of years of abstinence.
  • Stopping smoking cuts the risk of a heart attack to about half that of a smoker within one year, and after a number of years the risk is the same as someone who has never smoked. Even for people already with heart disease, stopping smoking has many benefits. Stopping smoking soon after a heart attack reduces the risk of dying of a subsequent heart attack by around 25%.
  • If you stop smoking before middle age you avoid more than 90% of the risk of lung cancer attributable to tobacco.
How To Stop Smoking

References

  1. Why Quit -

How To Stop Smoking

Comments (2)Add Comment
0
Mr
written by Jim Hargey, May 17, 2012
i stopped smoking with the nicorette inhalor since august but finding it hard to stop using these now i had lung cancer and had a successful operation last august thats when i started using the inhaler but i am finding it hard to get rid of the craveing
Colin Winstanley
Reply
written by Colin (Pharmacist), May 18, 2012
Hi Jim.
The diagnosis of lung cancer must be the ultimate wake-up call to quit smoking and change your life around. Perhaps you need more local NHS support to come off nicotine, or try using a coach or hypnotherapist. Some of our listed books on cancer may also help to widen your ideas on healthy living. I am currently listening to 'Never Fear Cancer Again' from Audible, which is very good. See http://www.superliving.co.uk/c/cancer-books.html
Best wishes Colin (SuperLiving's Pharmacist)

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