It’s never too late to quit smoking. There are many benefits to be gained when you quit this addictive habit no matter what your age. We will discuss some tips below on how you can succeed in quitting if that’s what you have decided to do.
There are a diverse range of articles on the best way to quit smoking. This can sometimes be overwhelming when looking at achievable ways to quit that last the distance. It can also be expensive, especially with the cost of nicotine patches, however, the flip side is that you are saving money from not buying cigarettes. Everyone is different and it appears that having a really strong reason to quit is the main underlying factor in quitting for good!
Below are some helpful tips to help you kick the nicotine habit.
- Reasons why: Write down all the reasons you have decided to quit and carry them with you so that you can refer to them if you feel like having a smoke. Write them down on a piece of paper or on you phone.
- Set a date: set a date to quit and commit to it. Stop smoking completely on your set date.
- Plan ahead: It’s important to plan ahead for situations where you may feel tempted to smoke again (parties, drinking, go out with a group of friends). It may be helpful to try to avoid these situations in the early stages of quitting. When you feel more in control (and the nicotine has subsided from your body, it will be easier to face these settings.
- Support: Get as much support as you can from friends and family. Let them know what you are doing and ask smokers to be more sensitive around you (so they refrain from offering you cigarettes or smoking around you).
- Nicotine replacement: For many smokers, nicotine replacement therapy such as patches, or inhalers could be a good idea if you need extra help and can also assist in reducing withdrawal symptoms.
Below is a time line and some health facts on how your body will say “thank you”, if you can manage to abstain from cigarettes. The facts are;
• After 1 week off your sense of taste and smell have returned and most of the nicotine has left your body
• 2 weeks off is a big hurdle. Most ex-smokers will still have a couple of cravings per day (which can last for about 3 minutes)
• 3 weeks off and the blood is pumping with greater ease around your body! Gentle exercise becomes easier as well
• 4 weeks off and your skin looks fresher…nobody wants to look older than they are!
• 5 weeks off and any smokers cough should be relieved or has disappeared
• 6 weeks off and this is the half way point. Well done!
• 7 weeks off and energy has increased-keep up the momentum for best results
• 8 weeks off and breathe in! Your lung capacity has improved
• 9 weeks off and your body’s ability to reduce mucus and clean the lungs has also improved
• 10 weeks off and your body is able to fight off infection, which means less chances of getting the cold and flu
• 11 weeks off and you have a better smile! Whiter teeth and fresher breath is always a bonus!
• Excellent work! At the 12 week mark you have radically improved your lung function and your overall health
The physical health benefits of a nicotine free life are obvious, though the sense of achievement in your ability to manage cannot be underestimated. The people who love and respect you will be proud of you and being proud of yourself is the by-product! It is extremely difficult to overcome a nicotine addiction and this is how cigarettes have been designed. Why pay a company for filling your body with toxins?
Sure, the pictures on the packets are not pretty; the bloodshot eyeball, gangrene limbs and other physical ailments have not been made up and the stories of “tough Aussies” who have smoked all their lives and lived to tell the tales are an exception-not the rule!
As is sometimes the case in life, you’ve managed to have 12 weeks off, are feeling great, then something stressful happens. Have strategies in place to deal with stress, such as exercise, being involved in a hobby or anything else which stops you from returning to cigarettes. This is the tricky part of being addicted. Your brain may tell you that you’ll feel better from just 1 cigarette, however the cycle will start all over again!
Stay strong, be healthy and rejoice in the feeling of having a nicotine-free body!
If you require further assistance with quitting, help is available. Contact the Telephone Quitline on 137848.