Tips on Stopping Smoking

Cancer is one of the big risks of smoking
Cancer is one of the big risks of smoking

Quitting smoking is not an easy task but there are a range of different methods that can be used to help you quit.

Review the options when it comes to quitting smoking with 12 top stop smoking tips.

NHS local stop smoking service

The NHS operates local stop smoking services up and down the country. At a local stop smoking service, a trained advisor will prepare you for quitting either in a group or on a one to basis. The service provides support throughout your bid to quit.

Benefits of quitting smoking

Smoking opens us to a range of health problems such as heart disease, stroke, various cancers and sexual and fertility problems.

A number of these problems are also associated with diabetes and the addition of being a smoker to having diabetes significantly ups the risks of developing diabetic complications.

Cancer is one of the big risks of smoking. Lung cancer is strongly linked with smoking and is the most common cancer of all.

It is far from the only cancer linked with smoking with mouth cancer, throat cancer, bladder and colon being examples of other cancers associated with regular smoking.

What are your reasons for quitting?

People wanting to quit are commonly recommended to the list the reasons why they want to quit.

It can be helpful to write these down and keep the list handy for any times when your will power is being testing.

You may want to put the list on your fridge or in the first page of a diary or book.

Going cold turkey

Making a decision to quit smoking with will power alone is possible.

The NHS states that about 3% of quitters succeed through will power alone. If the statics sound low, it could be because there are now a multitude of smoking cessation aids these days.

Alternative therapies

Alternative therapies for stopping smoking include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Hypnosis
  • Group quitting therapy

Different methods may work better for different people but certainly each of these methods has reported significant success.

Nicotine replacement therapy

Nicotine replacement therapy involves taking nicotine without exposing yourself to the other associated dangers of smoking.

Nicotine can be taken orally, inhaled or taken through the skin and may include any of the following methods:

  • Gum
  • Patches
  • Lozenges
  • Nasal and mouth sprays
  • Inhalators

You can use more than one of these methods at one time, for example using patches to control background cravings and lozenges or gum to treat more intense cravings.

Anti-smoking medication

Anti-smoking medications such as are distinct from nicotine replacement therapies. Rather than containing nicotine, they affect neurotransmitters and receptors in the brain.

Examples of anti-smoking medications include:

  • Bupropion – under the trade name Zyban
  • Varenicline – under the trade name Champix

Anti-smoking medications can be prescribed by your doctor but may not be suitable for everyone. Zyban should be used with caution by people with diabetes and Champix is not recommended in people with depression.

Your doctor will be able to advise on the suitability of anti-smoking medication. As with any medication, a number of side effects are possible.

Feeling tense without a cigarette to hold?

Many people feel a sense of tension when quitting if they don’t have something to hold in their hands. Some people may carry a pen to busy their hands and a good book can also be a good way to tie up your hands when you have free time.

Drinking from a straw can also be used as a way to keep your hands occupied when having a beverage. If you need something to hold and are struggling with nicotine cravings, inhalators offer a possible solution.

Beating the triggers

If you are used to having a cigarette at specific times, upon waking, at work breaks, while watching TV or when out socialising then find ways to reduce, avoid or distract from the triggers.

If many of friends or colleagues smoke, it can be beneficial if one of your friends or colleagues is prepared to quit with you. This can help as you can support and motivate each other and can help you to socialise away from the temptation of others that smoke.

Making excuses

A lot of people may find themselves making excuses to smoke. A stress filled day can be a serious threat to the hard work you’ve put into quitting. It can be very tempting to have a cigarette and blame the need for it on someone or some event.

You need to be aware for this to happen and to be able to spot and step in with a strong counter argument to stop you from giving in. Refuse to make any excuses for a cigarette.

A healthy diet and lifestyle can help

Vegetables, fruit and exercise can really help on your path to quitting for good. They each have beneficial effects on the body. Vegetables and fruit provide a vast array of vitamins and minerals which help our body to operate at its peak and can help to beat cravings.

Exercise, as well as improving our health, has been shown to increase mental well being and confidence, which makes a strong platform for quitting. Exercise can help to reduce stress and taking exercise when you crave a cigarette can help the craving to pass.

A healthy diet and exercise also serve a great secondary purpose of helping to better manage diabetes.

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