How to stop
You’re three times more likely to successfully stop smoking with support.
Cravings and Triggers
Recovering from any addiction is difficult. The main experiences of withdrawal include restlessness, irritability, frustration, tiredness, and difficulty sleeping or concentrating.
The cravings for nicotine should improve after the first 2-3 weeks as your body and brain adjust to being smoke-free. You may get a chesty cough, but this is positive – it means you are getting rid of the debris from your lungs.
There are several products available to help you deal with cravings but remember cravings are fleeting – take a deep breath and wait for them to pass.
Use your nicotine replacement products or a vape
Have a drink of water or a sip of orange juice
Get some exercise – walking is a great distraction
Keep busy to distract yourself – try a new hobby
Focus on the benefits of stopping smoking
Think of all the money you are saving
Know your triggers
Emotional – smoking when bored, stressed or lonely
Withdrawal-related – smoking to get rid of unpleasant symptoms of nicotine withdrawal
Habit related – smoking when engaged in another activity i.e., with coffee or walking the dog
Socially-related – smoking at a bar or seeing someone else smoke
Prepare for the tricky situtation
If you know you are going to be tempted to smoke, it is a good idea to have a plan in mind to help you resist the urge.
- Ask your friends and family to support you in your journey – especially if they still smoke, it is important that they do not offer you one.
- Keep an eye on the alcohol intake too. When you are out socialising alcohol can reduce your inhibitions and self-control
- You could try switching to non-alcoholic drinks, avoid drinking at home alone and perhaps try avoiding places you used to go to smoke and drink.
- Have someone you can talk to about things if you are struggling. They can help you to get perspective and remind you of why you wanted to quit in the first place.
What if you start smoking again?
- If you fall off the wagon, do not worry. Just see it as a setback. The best time to try to quit again is straight away
- Throw away the rest of the pack
- Go for a walk, drink some water, and take a deep breath
- Ask yourself if you really want to be a smoker again.
- Remember why you wanted to stop
- Try a different way of quitting
- Remind yourself you are a non-smoker.
NHS Better Health
The NHS has a site filled with support to help you get healthy.
Whether you want to quit smoking, get active or manage your weight better their ‘Better Health’ support can help.
The site has a range of apps to help you reach your goals, including:-
- NHS food scanner
- Couch to 5K
- Drink Free Days
- BMI calculator
- NHS weight loss plan
- Active 10 app
- NHS Quit Smoking app
- How are you? Quiz – The quiz will help you get a health score along with advice and simple tips for healthier living.
The Quit Smoking support includes reasons why you should stop, information about the Quit Smoking app, the different ways you can go about quitting and what happens to your body when you do stop.
There are three different ways you can replace the nicotine you get from cigarettes to help you quit for good. These include:-
- Nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs), such as patches, sprays, gum and lozenges
- Prescription-only medicines (tablets)
- Nicotine vapes (e-cigarettes)
Supporting someone else to give up smoking
If you smoke, do not smoke around them! Keep the cigarettes, lighters, and ashtrays out of their sight
Be patient and positive. Try to remain positive by offering words of encouragement and emotional support on tougher days to help someone quit
Stop smoking advisers are experts in helping people stop. They are non-judgemental and understand the difficulties of quitting, many of them are ex-smokers!
Encourage the use of nicotine replacement produts or a vape which will increase their chances of success
Offer distractions by suggesting smoke-free activities such as going for a walk, playing a game, or watching a movie
They may feel irritable, restless, and low in mood. You can help by being there and showing them that you understand their uncomfortable symptoms.
Keep them motivated and on track. Keep encouraging them and reminding them of why they wanted to quit in the first place. It might be useful for them to write down their reasons for quitting or finding a picture that helps motivate them
If they do have a cigarette, it is important that you do not make them feel worse about it by getting angry or doubting their ability to quit
Celebrate their successes. Quitting smoking takes a lot of mental and emotional energy, so celebrating the fact they are making a major and very positive change in their life is important.
Make a positive change today
There are lifestyle choices you can make to boost your health and emotional wellbeing.
Being informed and intentional about diet, activity, sleep, or smoking can reduce your health risks and lead to healthier, happier lives.
Being active can lift our mood, improve sleep and make us feel more connected, as well as reduce the risk of major illnesses.
Feel Good Suffolk has a range of support and information to help you get motivated, stay focused and be active.
Maintaining a healthy weight helps us maintain good health and can help prevent or manage long-term health conditions.
Feel Good Suffolk has a range of support and information to help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Need help to stop smoking? Get support local to you
Feel Good Suffolk Advisors are there to offer support and advice on stopping smoking, healthy weight and being more active. They will tell you about the services available, tell you about what other options there are in your local area and community and guide you through on-line self-help.
They can also advise you on the eligibility criteria for more intensive levels of support around managing a healthy weight, stopping smoking and being more active.