I’ve written before about my dad and how just over a year ago, he quit smoking. He had been a heavy smoker for over 40 years, so I think it is a massive achievement. He gave up smoking cigarettes by switching to vaping instead. Of course, vaping isn’t for everybody. It hasn’t worked for Graham. When you’re making the decision to quit smoking, you need to find a way of doing it that will suit you and your lifestyle. I’ve never been a smoker, but I can imagine and appreciate how hard it must be. I’ve collated some tips and tricks from people that I know who have successfully quit smoking, and they’ve all said how much better they felt almost straight away.
6 Tips for Quitting Smoking
1. Do it when you’re ready
Everyone knows that you should try quitting smoking as soon as possible, but in reality, it doesn’t work like that. Those first few weeks after stopping are going to be difficult, whatever you do, so if you’re already in the middle of something incredibly stressful (starting a new job, moving house etc), it probably isn’t the best time. Wait until you’re ready – you’re much more likely to stick to it.
2. Have a plan
Pretty much everything in life works better if you have a plan, including quitting smoking. Work out a date when you’re going to stop. Work out what you are going to do when a craving hits, who you can call on for support, and how you will reward yourself. Figuring all this out when you’re calm and relaxed is much easier than when you’re desperately craving a cigarette and stressed out!
3. No more puffs. Ever.
Apparently, this is one of the biggest things that stops people from quitting smoking successfully in the long run. They think just one puff, or one cigarette isn’t going to hurt. It usually does, though, leading to another puff or another cigarette, and before you know it, you’re smoking again.
4. Reward Yourself
Try and reward yourself for every milestone you hit – your first full day as a non-smoker, your first week, your first month etc. Plan a big reward for that all important year milestone – perhaps keep all the money that you would usually use on buying cigarettes and pop it in a jar. Book a holiday or a trip somewhere after a year using that money.
5. Change your routine
As I’ve said before, I’m not a smoker, but from smokers (including Graham!) have told me, a lot of it is down to routine. Every morning, Graham gets up, makes a coffee and goes outside for a fag and to drink his coffee, and then goes about doing his whole shower/brush teeth/get ready routine afterwards. He’s not trying to quit at the moment, but when he does, he will try and change that routine up – instead of getting up and having coffee first, he will go and have a shower, get dressed, have breakfast, and hopefully by not going outside with that coffee first thing, he can trick his brain and body into forgetting he wants a fag. However, I can imagine it’s easier said than done!
6. Don’t let a setback stop you
Nicotine is a drug. Your body becomes dependent on it. Fighting that urge must be incredibly difficult, and I can’t imagine that many people give up smoking without a setback. Most people try to quit smoking a few times before they kick the habit for good (I know my dad did). Don’t look on setbacks as a failure – learn from them. What triggered you to smoke again? Look at how you can deal with that if it happens again. If what are you doing isn’t working, find another way. Some people go cold turkey, others turn to e-cigarettes or vapes, and others use things like patches or gum. Not every way will work for every person.
If you’re trying to give up smoking – I wish you the best of luck!!