• How To Stop Smoking

    Many solutions are available to you. Quit altogether? Cut down first? Go cold turkey? 

    Quitting smoking is a challenge, so make sure you keep those all-important motivation levels topped up…

    Quit with a friend

    Stopping smoking is contagious! A US study in 2008 found that people whose friends quit were 36% more likely to stop themselves, while people whose workmates quit were 34% less likely to smoke too. So, if you want to succeed in your mission to give up cigarettes for good, grab a friend who also wants to quit. That way, you can keep each other motivated and you’ll know you’re not in it alone. Why not plan some joint rewards for when you’ve quit too, like a celebratory night or day out, or shopping trip with the money you’ve saved from not buying cigarettes?

    Get outdoors

    When was the last time you found yourself on top of a hill on a hot summer’s day and took in a really big lungful of fresh air? The benefits of getting out in the fresh air are endless; it can boost endorphins – those happy hormones that come in very handy when you’re in need of a motivation boost – as well as helping you be active. Plus, as time passes, you’ll really start to notice how much fresher the air smells, and how much fitter you’re becoming, thanks to quitting cigarettes. Lung capacity improves by as much as 10 % in nine months when you quit – you’ll be whizzing up those steep hills!

    Keep a log

    Approach your quitting mission as if it were a project, like buying a new home or planning a wedding – but rather than counting down the days, count them up. Get yourself a calendar and tick off each day you’ve managed to stay cigarette free. The ticks will soon add up – a nice pat on the back for your hard work, and something for you to look at and remind yourself how far you’ve come if your willpower’s having a wobble. Set reward-targets too so you’ve something to work towards - when you’ve managed to go a whole month smoke-free, for instance, you’ll really deserve that new bag, or trip to your favourite restaurant that you promised yourself.

    Start a piggy bank

    Saving money is a huge motivation for lots of people who want to stop smoking – and if you ensure you actually see the money you save, all the better. So set up a special account or just start a ‘quitting jar’ or piggy bank, to store the saved cash. Then for the fun part… deciding how to spend it! Those gorgeous shoes you’ve been eyeing, or the latest smartphone? Could be yours after a month… Or play the long game and save all year to splash out on a holiday.

     

    Smokers aren’t all the same – so neither are the products designed to help you quit smoking. Whether you have a 40-a-day habit or can’t resist lighting up at the pub, there’s a NICORETTE® replacement for you…

    The Heavy Smoker

    When you’re a heavy smoker the thought of trying to stop smoking can seem a bit overwhelming. But whether you want to slowly cut down your daily cigarette count or attempt to quit smoking altogether, a nicotine replacement can help you to battle your cravings. – For a controlled, on demand dosing, try NICORETTE® 4mg Gum.

    The Dieting Smoker

    Sometimes people don’t quit smoking because they’re worried they’ll put on weight. Quitting smoking won’t necessarily make you pile on the pounds, but if you are worried that you’re going to replace your regular cigarette breaks with trips to the biscuit tin, the NICORETTE® Gum is good solution.

    Overcoming cravings is one of the biggest battles you’ll face when quitting smoking. But, a few simple ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ could really help keep cravings at bay…

    Do...

    Keep active1

    Just a little bit of exercise could go a long way to helping curb cigarette cravings. Plus, doing something active could work wonders for helping take your mind off withdrawal symptoms while you quit. We’re not suggesting you go on a 10 kilometer run every time a craving comes on, but even getting outdoors for a walk could help. And factoring in some regular exercise will get those crucial feel-good endorphins pumping, giving you an extra boost.

    Delay1

    Delaying is a clever tactic for dealing with cigarette cravings. If you think you need a cigarette right now, tell yourself you have to wait 10 minutes. Find something to do in that time to take your mind off the craving – read a book, make a cup of tea, do a short piece of work - often you’ll find that once 10 minutes has passed, your craving has too.

    Write a list9

    Nicotine cravings are very much a physical thing, but mind-over-matter definitely comes into play, too. To keep your willpower topped up, write lists of all the brilliant reasons you’re quitting, and all the rewards you’re set to reap – like better health, more money, smoke-free clothes, a whiter smile… Every time you need a little reminder why quitting’s worth it, get the list out and read it. Planning to treat yourself to a dream holiday, a shopping spree, with the money you’ve saved after a year? Stick a picture of it to your fridge!

    Be prepared1

    When you craving cigarettes, what your body really wants is nicotine. This is where NRT products come in handy - they give you a nicotine fix without resorting to smoking a cigarette. Being prepared in this way could really help, especially if you have a long day ahead where temptation might strike, such as a wedding, or a busy day at work. There are a range of products available so choose ones right for you. Carrying NICORETTE® Gum means you’ll always have a quick source of nicotine at hand.

    Don’t…

    Have just one7

    If a really strong craving hits, it’s tempting to convince yourself that one little cigarette won’t hurt. The thing is, one cigarette often leads to many, and before long you could be back to square one. So next time that little devil on your shoulder says ‘go on, just the one’, remind yourself how well you’re doing – and refer to the tips above!

    Avoid Temptation7

    Going for a drink or to see your mates might seems like a good distraction when cravings strike. But if you’d normally associate the pub with lighting up, it might not be the best idea! Think about it – it could be temptation overload. How about going to somewhere different where you don’t get reminded of smoking? Best to avoid temptation-triggers until the cravings have died down.

    Tell someone7

    Cravings are a normal part of the quitting process and almost everybody will experience them to some degree, so there’s no need to feel bad about them. If you’re finding cravings tough, tell someone. Call a friend, tell your colleague, or even find an online forum for support. A problem shared is a problem halved, as they say, and just speaking about those darn cravings could give you the extra willpower boost you need.

     

     

    Stopping smoking is a brilliant achievement – just be careful you don’t swap one bad habit for another…

    Sneaky snacking

    Lots of people worry that once they quit smoking they’ll gain weight. Nicotine can, to a degree, suppress appetite and some people find they want to eat more when they quit. And if you miss the hand-to-mouth action of smoking it can be easy to find yourself reaching for snacks to curb those familiar urges, especially when you’re bored. Stocking up on healthy snacks, like fruit and nuts, is a good idea. Products like NICORETTE® Gum, which has been clinically proven to help you control your weight when you’re quitting, are a great solution too. This will enable you to reduce the amount of nicotine in your system more steadily, and give you something to chew!

    Spending sprees

    Without cigarettes you might find yourself a bit bored and seeking something that will give you a quick thrill. Step forward shopping! Browsing online stores when you’d usually be taking a smoking break, or popping into the shops to take your mind off cigarettes... Saving money is one of the big rewards of quitting smoking, and you deserve to treat yourself. But, don’t fall into the trap of spending mindlessly just to scratch an itch. Regular sprees can rapidly mount up. How about browsing charity shops at lunch time? Or, just enjoy some window shopping and take your time planning what you’d really like to spend your extra money on.

    Staying in

    When you quit, it can be hard being around other smokers or in situations where you would normally have had a cigarette. Things like going to the pub or a party can feel like a challenge rather than a pleasure, and you might find yourself avoiding them all together and just staying in. You may need to change your social habits for a while in order to avoid temptation, but don’t get too used to being a hermit. How about inviting your friends around for dinner, arranging a walk or going to the cinema? That way you’re still socialising and having fun – just without the usual temptations to smoke.

    Trouble concentrating

    Like we said, there are so many benefits of stopping smoking, but sometimes your brain forgets that and all it can think about is…cigarettes! As a result it can be hard to concentrate on whatever you’re doing – whether that’s work or play. If you find that your mind is wandering at work, take a break. A quick walk, or even just stepping outside, will help clear your head. If you’re out with friends, explain you’re a bit distracted.

    Cheeky tipple

    Lots of people smoke when they’re stressed or anxious, so when you stop smoking you may find it hard to calm down. In these situations, you might end up reaching for a beer or glass of wine. While a drink every now and then is fine, you don’t want to replace cigarettes with alcohol. A much better solution is to do some exercise – it’s great for relieving stress and much better for your body. How about a jog or a swim? But even a walk would be beneficial.

    Fidgety fingers

    It’s normal to get a little irritable when you quit smoking. That, plus the fact that you haven’t got a cigarette to hold anymore, can mean that your hands get fidgety. Instead of biting your nails or winding up everyone around you by drumming your fingers. Try to lose yourself in a good book or magazine to keep your mind occupied.

    Why not find out more about the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ of tackling cravings to help you reach your goal.