Hi everyone, I’m on now on week two of my stop smoking journey.
Dr Dawn Harper gave me some great advice on how to stop smoking; the full list is below but one tip that really stood out to me was about taking up a form of physical activity to help keep my mind off smoking. I’ve always liked the idea of running, but have found it so hard to do. In the past whenever I’ve attempted to run I’ve always found myself wheezing and coughing and unable to run for any longer than five minutes. This week, I tried it again and managed to complete a half an hour run – this is something that I never thought I’d be able to do! I couldn’t believe the change that I saw in myself after only two weeks of quitting.
My e-cigarette has also been a real help to me as it allows me to mimic the process of smoking and to reduce my nicotine cravings.
Stopping smoking has not been easy, and I’ve had a lot of temptations along the way, but I’m so proud of what I’ve achieved so far and I am determined to keep going!
The quit list
Begin by writing out a list of reasons why you want to quit smoking. For example, think about how much money you’ll save or the benefits to your health, perhaps you want to quit for your family. The list will not only reinforce your decision to stop smoking for Stoptober, but you’ll also find it a handy tool to refer to on those difficult days when you feel your cravings are close to getting the better of you.
In the bin!
To help you stay strong and resist temptation during your days without smoking, throw away any last cigarettes, lighters or anything that reminds you of being a smoker. You can then make a clean smokefree start with no temptations.
Do what suits you
Remember, everyone’s quitting journey is different and there is no right or wrong. There are lots of ways to quit and Stoptober can help you choose what works for you. By searching ‘Stoptober’ online, you can find the right quitting method for you. As well as support from the thousands of others that are going smokefree for 28 days, Stoptober emails, Facebook Messenger and the mobile phone app are filled with tips and encouragement to keep you going. There is also information about the free expert face-to-face support that your local Stop Smoking Service can offer, as well as detail on the different types of stop smoking aids available, including medicines and e-cigarettes.
Give one of the many nicotine replacement therapies a try
Using nicotine replacement therapies can double your chances of quitting smoking for good. As well as e-cigarettes, there are patches, there are tablets, lozenges, gum and a nasal spray. Use these for as long as you need to stop smoking and stay smokefree.
Take up some form of physical activity
When you stop smoking, you’ll be on the hunt for things to take your mind off cigarettes. Research shows you could be up to twice as likely to stay smokefree for 12 months or more if you combine physical activity with your quit attempt. Moving more eases nicotine withdrawal symptoms when you first quit smoking. It distracts you from thoughts of smoking and can improve your mood. It also helps you cope with stress and feel more energetic. It doesn’t stop there, your muscle tone will improve, you’ll feel a greater sense of accomplishment and your sleep will be improved. Taking at least one brisk ten minute walk a day has been shown to reduce the risk of early death by 15%. So why not download the Active 10 app, which shows how much brisk walking you are currently doing and provides tips and encouragement on how to fit ten minute bursts of brisk walking into your daily routine.
Break your routines and be honest with yourself
For many people, smoking is a ritual that is often associated with certain times in their daily routine, so it’s a good idea to prepare yourself for some of the triggers that make you feel like having a cigarette.
It is important to be honest with yourself and know what your smoking triggers are so you can prepare to deal with them. By writing them out and identifying ways around them for the first week or so, you will stand a better chance of remaining smokefree.
To keep you motivated, remember that cravings and temptations to smoke, whilst intense, don’t last long – just a few minutes. Tools like Facebook Messenger are there for you whenever you need them throughout Stoptober to help get you through the tough times.
Get some extra stop smoking support
If friends or family members want to give up too, suggest to them that you give up together.
There is also support available from your local stop smoking service. Those who use stop smoking aids and who get face-to-face support from their local stop smoking service are up to four times more likely to quit successfully
Sophie is encouraging thousands of smokers to top smoking this Stoptober. It’s never too late to start your quitting journey. Search ‘Stoptober’ for all the support you need to quit: www.nhs.uk/oneyou/stoptober
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