Smoking is considered the largest single preventive cause of cancer in the United Kingdom. There are more than 9.4 million people in the UK who smoke almost on a daily basis. While smoking itself is supposed to kill 100,000 people each year, there are 6 million deaths from smoking -related causes every year.
So, How Do You Stop Smoking?
Although there many different methods of quitting smoking, all these methods will not suit every smoker out there. In fact, some smokers prefer to go cold turkey while some others may require a substitute for a short time to wean off the nicotine habit. You have to choose the best-suited approach to your lifestyle and preferences. Here are some effective NHS tips that will put you on the right path when quitting nicotine altogether.
Think Positively – The right mindset is a major part of quitting smoking altogether. Make sure you think positively at all times. Even though you have tried to quit the habit and failed in the past, you should not let it put you off. Learn from your mistakes in the past and prepare yourself better this time.
Make A Plan And Stick To It – Make a strong will to quit smoking and try to stick to it as much as possible. Set a date to quit the habit and paste it on your refrigerator. It is normal for you to have cravings after you have made a determination to quit the habit. The craving will pass soon if you just watch it without giving in. In the beginning, you can practice “delayed gratification” if the urge is very strong and you feel that you are losing your grip. Don’t smoke as soon as you have a craving for it. Delay the process as much as possible, and you will be able to quit smoking altogether one day. Dr. Phelan recommends putting a drink in the hand that usually holds the cigarette in a sociable environment.
Let Your Family Know That You Have Planned To Quit Smoking – When you decide to quit smoking, tell your family and friends about your decision. The first week without smoking is the hardest part when trying to quit the habit. You can make a lot of non-smoking plans with your family and friends so that you will be busy and won’t have time to smoke.
Writing Down The Reasons To Quit – Make sure you write down all the important reasons to quit smoking. When you have a strong urge to smoke, take the list and remind yourself of these reasons. The chances are you will not feel like lighting a cigarette.
If I Still Can’t Quit – Is There Any Support?
While some people prefer to do it alone, others might require a bit of a helping hand. Fortunately, there is a lot of support for people who need support. There is therapy, medicines, and numerous treatments to help you stop smoking.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
NRT is a treatment that provides the smoker with a low level of nicotine without the harmful components such as carbon monoxide, tar, and other harmful chemicals. A small percentage of nicotine will help you reduce the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms of trying to quit smoking. NRT comes in many forms, and all of the methods work the same. The latest research shows that using a combination of NRT is much more effective compared to using a single NRT product. NRT comes in:
- Skin Patches – These will release nicotine slowly.
- Chewing Gum – This is more of a short term solution that helps alleviate cravings.
- Inhalators – Looks like plastic cigarettes.
- Tablets, oral strips, lozenges, and mouth sprays.
Electronic cigarettes are extremely popular with people who want to quit smoking. The device will allow the user to inhale nicotine without the harmful chemicals in the tobacco cigarette. E-cigs work by heating the device and releasing vapor from a solution that contains e liquid, flavorings, and a colorless liquid such as propylene glycol or glycerine. There is no smoke since no burning is involved. The NHS website reveals that two out of three smokers have quit smoking up to April 2015 thanks to electronic cigarettes.
The best treatment for quitting smoking will depend on many factors such as your age, personal preference, medical history, and whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Don’t overload your already busy GP seeking advice on quitting for good, in the UK there are many great alternatives, such as smoking cessation advice and medications available free of charge from your pharmacy. All this information on services in your area is available via the NHS Stop Smoking helpline, just pop it into google and start a smoke free lifestyle change today!