If Stoptober came and went and you are still struggling with putting down that packet of cigarettes, it’s time to look for alternative methods. New Years is around the corner and at the risk of being ‘one of those’ people that say they’re going to quit but then didn’t, we have come up with a few ideas to help you kick that bad habit.
You may not realise it, but if you smoke around 20 cigarettes a day you could be spending up to £2000 a year. That is money that could very well be spent on something you actually want to do, or have been longing to buy for a while. By making a list of the things you could actually buy if you weren’t spending the money on cigarettes, it may motivate you actually want to stop; whether it is a holiday, a new car, taking your children out or even just a pampering day.
Smoking is usually associated with things that you see, times of day or people you associate with. You should try to get rid of certain things to make it easier for you when stop smoking. Get rid of all of your lighters and ash trays; if you have a piece of furniture that you usually sit on when smoking, maybe move it so that it’s not a constant reminder.
When the time comes for your usual smoke, try to distract yourself with something else. Have a snack instead and keep your hands busy, as this will help the craving to pass.
If you have a group of friends who smoke explain to them that you are trying to quit and you could really do with their support. Ask them not to encourage you to go outside with them when they have one so that you are not tempted. Social circles are often a downfall for many people as they can feel left out, so it is important that your friends are supportive and encouraging.
If your friends are going out and you are missing the social aspect as well as struggling to immediately stop, there are substitutes that you can try. Electronic cigarettes are a great way to help you to slowly cut down on your smoking, and provide you with a healthier alternative.
Although they still contain nicotine, they don’t have the other harmful carcinogens in them that traditional cigarettes do, such as tobacco and tar. They are a great way to keep your hands busy, and you can still go outside and ‘smoke’ with your friends if you feel the need.
For every week you go without smoking give yourself a little reward; make sure it’s nothing smoking related, but a night out, a new item of clothing or a fancy meal is great way to help you to keep up the good work. You probably won’t even feel the pinch as you will be using the money you would have spent on cigarettes anyway. It doesn’t have to be anything big, even a bit of chocolate or night off from doing any household chores is a great way to celebrate.
Now that you have a few ideas of how you can stop smoking you can get start trying to kick the habit. Remember no one can do it for you, so you have to be motivated enough to want it for yourself. If you feel yourself craving a cigarette or having a relapse, call a friend or family member to talk to you until the craving passes.