Whether you’re looking to get fitter, breathe better or save some money, trying to quit smoking is a life-changing decision with numerous benefits, especially for your health. This may include preventing coronary heart disease and stroke. Quitting smoking early enough also helps prevent cancers of the lung and upper airways, as well as, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
It isn’t easy and it isn’t fun, but once you’re motivated to stop smoking, the positives outweigh the negatives. Public Health England offer some advice on what works including local stop smoking services, nicotine replacement therapies and stop smoking medicines prescribed by a GP.
Here are a few additional top tips to help you quit smoking cigarettes.
Make a list of reasons to quit smoking
It is always useful to make a list of reasons why you need to stub out that cigarette.
Stubbing out your cigarette for good has some great benefits:
- Your blood pressure, pulse and body temperature return to normal within 20 minutes of your last cigarette.
- Eight hours after your last smoke, carbon monoxide levels and oxygen levels in the blood stream normalise.
- Your sense of smell and taste is heightened after just two days.
Within three months your circulation will improve and your lung function will be better.
Find other ways to relax
If you find smoking helps you keep calm, find other outlets for your stress and anxiety. Try taking up yoga, meditation and exercise. Breathing exercises can help ease anxiety and keep you calm. By just taking a deep breath, yawn or counting to ten can make you feel instantly calmer. In fact, research shows that a single session of Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) can reduce systolic blood pressure and improve parasympathetic and sympathetic modulations in young smokers.
Furthermore, regular exercise will help ease your nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms as well as improve your breathing technique. Not only that, but regular exercise will help you keep off the extra weight gain that some smokers experience when they quit smoking.
Cut down on caffeine
If coffee is a smoking trigger for you, cutting down on nicotine will make caffeine’s effects on your body more pronounced. However, don’t try to quit drinking coffee at the same time as you are trying to quit smoking as it will make it even harder to stub out that cigarette.
As soon as you commit yourself to quitting then you need to bin anything you have that is associated with smoking – lighters, ashtrays and of course any cigarettes lying around. Give your house a good clean to rid it of the smell of smoke and begin a fresh new start.
If at first you don’t succeed……try and try again
It usually takes more than one attempt to give up smoking altogether. After all it is an addiction. Don’t be disheartened if the first go is not successful. Keep trying and establish why it didn’t work the first time. Then, commit to success the next time.
Finally, the NHS offers stop smoking services to help you quit and on their website you will find contact details for your local stop smoking service.