To quit smoking is, given the addictive nature of it, quite a challenge for most people. Obviously, though, it's worth quitting smoking; the benefits to your health far outweigh the difficulties of the giving-up process. Smelling nicer and having fresher breath is a bonus! It helps to have support, so here are some top tips if you want to quit smoking …
Electronic cigarettes have become available relatively recently and are now widely on sale in pharmacies. The aim is to mimic smoking but without causing its harmful effects. This is worth trying as an aid to quit smoking if you would find it difficult to give up the habit, but do remember that it should really be used to wean you off the real thing, not as a permanent substitute.
These days there is plenty of support available for people who want to quit smoking. Doctors offer help to their patients, and many run support groups, or you can call government-funded helplines. Ask at your GP's surgery or local drugstore for information on how to give up, and any sources of help in your local area.
As well as its addictive side, smoking often becomes a psychological habit. Smokers are so accustomed to having a cigarette in their hands that they don't feel right without one when they try to quit smoking. Find something else to keep your hands busy when you feel the temptation to light up – either a practical hobby, or just something to play with.
If your friends try to discourage you, and offer you a ciggy, decline. Don´t be tempted to have "just one more." In fact, if they can't support your decision to give up, they're not the best people to hang around with, at least not while you´re trying to conquer your cravings. Or try to arrange get-togethers in places where smoking is not allowed.
Online support can be found for all kinds of situations, and quitting smoking is no exception. The good thing about it is that there is always someone around to talk to when you feel the cravings coming on. Posting on forums will also allow you to support and encourage each other as you go through the process of quitting smoking.
It's important to remember that when trying to quit smoking, you need to pick a method that is appropriate for you. Some people find that they need to cut down gradually, while others can't do it unless they stop altogether. Nicotine patches suit some, others find they don't help. So work out whether you can do it on willpower alone, or if you need some other method.
When you have quit, be firm with yourself. Don't buy any cigarettes, throw away any you have left, and discard all your smoking paraphernalia. Above all, refuse any cigarettes that are offered to you by smoking friends. It doesn´t matter if you bought them or not, it´s still a ciggy and you've quit! Don´t be tempted to have "just one."
A very good tip is to avoid places where smoking is permitted, and stick to non-smoking environments. This will really help in your quest to quit smoking, as if you know that it's not allowed the temptation is at least partly removed. Of course, don´t be tempted to pop outside to join other smokers – you are trying to be an ex-smoker!
Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do to improve your health. It might seem like it's too difficult to even try, but plenty of people have managed to quit, and you can too. With time, effort, willpower and help you can quit smoking for good. Ex-smokers, can you share your tips for giving up for good?
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