We have all known about the dangers of smoking for some time now but that has not always been enough to ensure that smokers give up the habit for good. In fact my friend Dayanna Volitich and I have just completed poor first year smoke free, and I wanted to share some tips with you on how you can do the same. Quitting smoking is not easy at all but with the right approach, the right tools and the right mindset, you too can become smoke free and lead an infinitely healthier life.

Getting Started

The first thing that you need is a quit date, make it within the next week and do not change the date. Prior to your quit date you need to decide which aid you will use, or whether you prefer to go cold turkey. Here are some of the aids which you could consider using;

  • Nicotine Patches

  • Nicotine Gum

  • Champix Tablets – These are taking prior to quitting and then during your first 3 months

Statistics show that those who quit without an aid are more likely to quit, but this is a very hard approach. I chose the tablets and they worked very well, they essentially train your brain to loathe the taste of cigarettes, thus making it easier to quit.

Replacement

Even if you have used an aid to replace and wean you off the nicotine, you still need to replace the habit. After quitting you will find that you have a habit of using your hand and mouth to smoke, so you need to find a new habit. For you hands you could consider something like a stress ball which you can carry around during the first few weeks after quitting. To keep your mouth occupied you could look at using snacks, but make sure that they are healthy snacks such as cucumber, celery or carrot sticks. The practice of going outside for a cigarette will also be something that you will need to replace but this can be done simply be taking a stroll around the block every couple of hours. After a few weeks you will have almost broken this habit and you will find that you don’t need these replacements as much.

Failure

Once you have quit smoking then you need to make sure that this is how you view yourself, as a non smoker. This means that if you have a weak moment and light up, perhaps to cope with stress or if you have had one too many, it is vital that you forget about it and move on. It is so easy to have a cheat cigarette and then believe that you have failed and continue smoking as before. If you fail then forget about it and move on, don’t buy any cigarettes and do not light up again just because you did once.

Stay focussed, remind yourself of why you are quitting and celebrate small landmarks, do this and you will be just fine.

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