Tomorrow is No Smoking Day and it’s good news for smokers wanting to ditch the cigarettes for good; as there’s never been more ways and support available to quit.
No Smoking Day is an annual health awareness day here in the UK intended to help smokers who want to quit smoking. The first No Smoking Day was on Ash Wednesday in 1984, and it now takes place annually on the second Wednesday in March.
Now I’m not a smoker myself I think I’ve had one full cigarette my entire life and it was enough for me – I don’t like the taste or smell and I don’t think it looks very attractive either. I do have some family and friends who smoke and I really hope they will consider quitting for the sake of their health.
Fresh (the UK’s first dedicated regional tobacco control programme) set up in 2005 to tackle the worst rates of smoking-related illness and death in the country; have long campaigned to reduce smoking rates here in my native North East.
Smoking is our biggest avoidable killer – more than alcohol, accidents, suicide, illegal drugs and diabetes combined and a massive drain on the NHS and economy.
Most of us know that smoking causes a range of illnesses such as lung cancer, most of which only become apparent after many years of smoking. But what really shocked me is that one in every two life-long smokers is killed by tobacco. For every death, another 20 people are suffering from a smoking related disease (ASH; Smoking statistics: Illness and Death).
You can show your support for No Smoking Day by joining in with the Thunderclap https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/68697-no-smoking-day-thunderclap
Here’s 10 steps to stopping smoking (inspired by the British Heart Foundation)
Stopping smoking isn’t easy, but there are things you can do to improve your chances of success.
It’s important to remember it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve tried to quit and then gone back to smoking – every time you try to quit you’re one step closer to quitting for good.
1. Pick a quit date
Choose a day that will be stress-free, and stick to it. Mark it on your calendar, put it in your phone.
2. Make a list
Write down all the reasons you want to quit. Keep the list handy and read it when the cravings start to kick in. You can learn more about how to set goals that work.
3. Build a support network
Pair up with someone else who’s looking to give up smoking and support each other. This can be in person or online whatever works for you.
4. Remove any reminders
Before your quit date do some spring cleaning – get rid of ashtrays, lighters and matches, and any remaining cigarettes. Bin them, put Fairy liquid on them, just get rid – out of sight out of mind.
5. Use stop smoking services
Did you know you’re four times more likely to quit with specialist help? Contact your local NHS Stop Smoking Service for support from trained specialists.
6. Try nicotine replacement therapy
Consider using nicotine replacement therapy, which can more than double your chances of stopping smoking. Have you also considered using e-cigarettes?
7. Start moving
Scientific studies have proven that exercise, as little as a five minute walk or stretch, cuts the urge to smoke and may even help your brain produce anti-craving chemicals. Get inspiration for getting active.
8. Avoid trigger situations
Anticipate stressful or trigger situations so, if you smoke after a meal, go for a short walk instead.
9. Practise saying “no”
Don’t be tempted by just one cigarette; it often leads to another.
10. Treat yourself
Put away some, or all, of the money you would have spent on cigarettes and buy something special to treat yourself.
So whether you want to quit cold turkey, visit a Stop Smoking Service, replace cigarettes with an e-cigarette or a combination of approaches – the key message is to not give up on quitting this No Smoking Day.
If you’re going to give quitting another go I wish you the very best of luck!
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Other useful health advice posts
If you’re looking to cut down on alcohol here’s tips to help take days off the booze
If you’re suffering from nasty mould and condensation in your home here’s 10 tips to tackle condensation
Have you got any tips to help stop smoking? Or if you’ve got a quit story to tell please let me know in the comments below.
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