7 years ago today I stopped smoking!
Do you want to find out how I finally quit smoking after almost 30 years of being a smoker? Read on for the best ways to quit smoking with my top tips to help you stop for good!
I tried to quit smoking so many times, sometimes I managed to stop for weeks, other times years, but I always went back to it. I finally quit for good on 19th October 2014. I am confident that I will never smoke again.
I had tried lots of times but to be honest, the reason I stopped smoking is because I had to due to a health scare. Unless you really want to quit for YOU, you will find any excuse to start smoking again. Smoking doesn’t keep you calm, it doesn’t relax you. You need to find alternative methods of stress relief and relaxation techniques.
If you are trying to stop smoking, here are a few things that helped me quit on different occasions. Please don’t leave it until you develop a medical condition because of smoking.
MY TOP TIPS TO HELP YOU QUIT SMOKING FOR GOOD
1. Decide why do you want to quit smoking
Prepare yourself mentally for quitting smoking. Think about why you want to stop and make a list of the benefits and negatives. These are all pretty obvious but you might find it useful to have a written reminder to access when it gets tough.
The benefits of stopping smoking
* My lung health will improve.
* I won’t cough as much.
* My lifespan will improve
* My taste and sense of smell will improve
* My teeth won’t be stained.
* My breath won’t smell.
* My skin will improve.
* My nails and fingers wont be stained.
* I won’t smell.
* My clothes won’t smell.
* My house won’t smell.
* I will be less likely to develop heart disease, certain smoking-related cancers, and COPD.
* My circulation will improve and I will be less likely to have a stroke or blood clot.
* I will save lots of money – Work out how much you spend per week, per month and year – what could you treat yourself too instead? You could also save on insurance premiums too.
The negatives of stopping smoking
Are there any ???
2. Easy Way to Stop Smoking Books & Audio by Allen Carr
Read or listen to some books or recordings about stopping smoking. Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking has some useful thoughts that might help you change your mindset over the way you think of smoking.
Similarly, there are many hypnosis recordings available – I particularly like the CDs by Mark Bowden. There are many videos free on YouTube too.
3. Stop with a friend or partner
Try and stop smoking at the same time as a friend or partner so that you can support each other.
4. NHS Stop Smoking Support
The NHS provides access to support networks and information on the alternatives to smoking if you feel need extra help.
5. Decide if you want to quit smoking cold turkey or gradually
There are pros and cons for quitting cold turkey or stopping smoking gradually. Only you can decide which is best for you.
Cutting down does help reduce the cravings and withdrawal symptoms when you finally stop, but it does put you under a lot of pressure.
For me withdrawal only lasted about 2 weeks for me, from smoking 7-10 superkings a day. I had headaches and stomach cramps. However, I didn’t get any withdrawal symptoms when I stopped from 3 mini roll-ups a day.
6. Stop Smoking Cold Turkey
If you decide to stop smoking by going “cold turkey”, ie, stopping without cutting down first or using any nicotine replacements, set a date when you know you won’t be under any additional stress, or when you know you won’t be in social situations where you are likely to smoke more.
7. Stop Smoking by reducing the amount of cigarettes you smoke
Many people prefer to cut down their tobacco intake before stopping smoking. If you decide to cut down and commit to 3 a day, for example, you need to stick to it. You can’t say “oh one more today but one less tomorrow” because it will just creep back up again and you’ll be back to your normal amount in no time. Consider getting your partner to give you your daily allowance each morning so you can’t have a sneaky one later.
8. If you smoke roll-ups, make them smaller
I smoked cigarettes for most of my life, but I changed over to roll-ups in later years. When I wanted to stop smoking, I made them smaller and smaller bit by bit so that I wasn’t smoking so much tobacco and therefore reducing my nicotine intake. This helped me to stop smoking gradually.
9. Change your smoking habits
I found it easier to stop drinking alcohol when I stopped smoking because I wanted to smoke more with a drink. I also particularly enjoyed a smoke after a meal with a cup of tea, so I started to drink water to stop that association.
10. Find distractions
When you crave a smoke, go for a walk, even if it’s up and down the stairs for 5 minutes, the craving will pass.
11. Smoking to relieve stress
If you want a cigarette because you are stressed, or just need that 5 minutes timeout that your smoking gave you, go and sit in your garden for 5 minutes and just deep breathe. It will be far more effective than breathing in smoke and chemicals.
12. Tell everyone
Tell your friends and family that you have stopped so that they can support you, and understand why you might be a bit cranky! If they are smokers ask them not to smoke around you, or offer you a cigarette.
13. Social Media
Announce it on social media – not just for any cheering on, but it will reach a wider audience and you would feel foolish if you were to start again.
You can read about my smoking story here.
You might like to also check out a couple of blogs about relaxation techniques. They were initially written as part of a self-help series for mental health but the principles still apply:
I hope my tips on how to stop smoking might help someone out there. Or perhaps you’ve already stopped for good? I’d love to hear how long you’ve stopped for, or if you have any other ways that helped you.
And if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again. I think many people take several attempts at stopping smoking before they finally quit for good.