Tuesday, July 22, 2014
If you want to quit smoking, there’s are a number of small changes that you can make to your lifestyle in order to resist the temptation of lighting up.
Make plans to quit
Make yourself a promise by setting a date and sticking to it. Just because you have an event coming up doesn’t mean you have to socially smoke. Weddings, parties and nights out are all times where you’re most likely to light up in the name of socialising, but do your best to stick to your promises.
Make changes to your diet
People often light up after food, so is your after-dinner cigarette your favourite one of the day? A US study revealed that various foods, especially meat, made the taste of cigarettes more satisfying. Other foods such as fruit, veg and cheese all made cigarettes taste terrible. Swap your steak or burger for a veggie pizza.
Change what you drink
The very same study looked at how various drinks changed the taste of cigarettes. Fizzy drinks, tea, cola, coffee and alcohol would make cigarettes taste better. So when you’re out and about, consume more drinks like water and juice. Some people found that making simple changes to their drink affects their need to reach for a cigarette.
You may have tried giving up in the past, but this time you need to ensure that you’re really going to go through with it. Tell yourself that you’re going to do it.
Look at the times you crave a cigarette
Cravings can last for 5 minutes. Before you give up cigarettes, make a list of five-minute strategies to use when you find yourself craving cigarettes. For example, you could simply exit the party for a minute or two, go dance or even go to the bar.
Use support options available to you
If your friends/family want to give up with you, then it’s a good idea for you to give up together. Also, you can use your local NHS stop smoking services and the NHS Smoking Helpline, available on 0300 123 1014.
Keep yourself busy
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) can make your attempts twice as likely to succeed. As well as nicotine patches, there are tiny tablets, lozenges, gum and a nasal spray that can all be used. If you like holding a cigarette, use an inhalator as a replacement. Try putting a drink in your hand that usually holds a cigarette, or instead drink from a straw to keep your mouth busy.
A review of scientific studies has proved that undertaking exercise (even if it’s just for a five-minute walk or stretch) can cut down cravings, helping your brain to produce anti-craving chemicals.
Make a list of reasons to give it up
Always remember why you gave up. Be sure to make a list of the reasons why you chose to give up in the first place, then read it when you need support. Ex-smoker Chris, 28, says: "I used to take a picture of my baby daughter with me when I went out. If I was tempted, I’d look at that."
Make friends with those who don’t smoke
When you’re at a party, spend your time with the non-smokers. Louise, 52, an ex-smoker says "Think of what they’re doing as a bit strange – lighting a small white tube and breathing in smoke."