Quitting smoking can be a tough challenge, so the NHS has put together a list of top tips to help you kick the habit.
Stoptober begins tomorrow — and smokers that commit to staying smoke free for 28 days are five times more likely to quit smoking for good.
If you're signed up to quit, these tips may help you on your journey.
10 top tips to help you quit smoking:
- Think positive - this time you’re going to kick the habit for good!
- Make a plan to quit smoking - Make a promise, set a date and stick to it. Don’t let your social life set you back.
- Change your diet - A US study revealed that some foods, including meat, make cigarettes more satisfying. Foods such as cheese, fruit and vegetables make cigarettes taste terrible.
- Change what you drink - The same study looking at drinks and found that fizzy drinks, alcohol, cola, tea and coffee all make cigarettes taste better. So when you’re out, drink more water and juice. Some people find that simply changing their drink, for example switching from wine to a vodka and tomato juice, affects their need to reach for a cigarette.
- Identify when you crave cigarettes - Cravings can last five minutes. Before you give up, make a list of five-minute strategies. Leave the party for a minute, dance or go to the bar. And think about this: the combination of smoking and drinking raises your risk of mouth cancer by 38 times.
- Get some quitting support - As mentioned above, trying to quit smoking can be more effective if a family member or friend joins you. Also, there are your local NHS stop smoking services (http://www.nhs.uk/smokefree) and the NHS smoking helpline which is available on 0300 123 1044 (open Monday to Friday 9am-8pm, Saturday to Sunday 11am-4pm).
- Get moving - A review of scientific studies has proved that exercise (even a five-minute walk or stretch) cuts cravings and may help your brain to produce anti-craving chemicals.
- Make non-smoking friends - When you’re at a party, stick with the non-smokers.
- Keep your hands busy - Nicotine replacement therapy (which works by releasing nicotine steadily into your bloodstream at much lower levels than in a cigarette and without the tar and carbon monoxide) makes you twice as likely to succeed. You can get this in the form of skin patches, chewing gum, inhalators, tablets, strips and lozenges and nasal and mouth spray. You can also try putting a drink in the hand that usually holds a cigarette, or drink from a straw to keep your mouth busy.
- Make a list of reasons to quit - Keep reminding yourself why you gave up and read it when you need support.
For more information on Stoptober, click here