It’s never too late to stop smoking. No matter how many you smoke a day, or how long you’ve been doing it – your body will start repairing AS SOON AS you stop!
So – CONGRATULATIONS – even taking the time to read this article is an important step towards quitting the habit. It is the start of you acknowledging the damaging effect the smoking habit has on you and the ones you love.
There are no end of reasons to stop smoking – the damage to your health and wellness; the harm of second-hand smoke to your family and the people around you; the ever-growing costs of cigarettes; the increased chances that your children will smoke if you do.
But despite the reasons – it is only YOU who can make that final decision to give it all up. And once you’ve made it – the next issue is ‘HOW?!’.
‘How’ comes down to two issues – How do you manage the physical withdrawal symptons?; and How do you then cope with the psychological challenges that are as much a part of the problem as the physical.
Well, we can help with the management of the physical symptoms. Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRTs) are specially designed to help you manage the cravings and the side-effects of the withdrawal symptoms. Depending on your nicotine dependency, there is a range of strengths for you to work with to find the right amount to manage the crave for nicotine.
In using NRTs you are allowing your body to access the nicotine that it is physically ‘hooked’ on, without exposure to the harmful tars, toxins and other chemicals that come from cigarette smoke. And if you are the sort of person who likes to smoke to keep you mouth busy, then you can get your nicotine fix by chewing on gum, or sucking on lozenges.
Managing the psychological or behavioural habits of smoking is challenging too. Research shows that these are best managed with a behavioural support plan. A google search will help you identify Quit-Smoking support groups or helplines in your area. And we would recommend you investigate these if you are the sort of person who works best with support.
But there are also things you can do yourself to help you succeed. Here is a list of our top ten:
- If today is not the day to start – then choose a quit date that will work best for you, when stress is at its lowest and you will be confronted with as little behavioural triggers as possible.
- Keep a ‘Daily Success Calendar’ – keep track of each day you succeed and celebrate it. Every day is a win.
- Write down the reason you have decided to quit – and keep that list handy to remind you when your commitment is low.
- Find a support programme that best fits you and use it to help success.
- Make the plan to quit real – tell your family and friends and ask them to support you.
- Think about what behaviours trigger your need for a smoke, and find ways to manage those situations.
- Think about the routines that make you crave a cigarette and avoid or adapt them as much as possible. For example – if you crave a cigarette whenever sitting outside – always make sure you have gum to chew on instead.
- ‘Clear the Air’ – on the day you quit cleanse your environment of the smell of smoke. Wash your clothes, air your car and house, clean your bedding, for example. And throw away lighters, ashtrays, old cigarettes.
- Ensure you have plenty of low-calorie snacks available, and/or use the NRT gum and lozenges to keep the mouth busy.
- Calculate how much you have been spending on cigarettes and plan how you can spend that money you have saved by not smoking.
But please remember – you will be very lucky if you can quit smoking without any failings. But don’t let a failing be the end of your quest to quit. It was a mistake, and you need to still move on. Consider why you have failed, and how you can learn from it. Maybe you need to review the behavioural support you have set-up. Or maybe you need to consider a higher dose of NRT to keep the physical withdrawal in check for now.
Giving-up smoking is too important for you and your family to let anything (including a relapse) get in the way of success. Know that we at KeaHealth are vying for your success. We take our small role in your journey very seriously. We do whatever we can to serve you, either by shipping products to you as soon as we can, or by doing our best to bring you the lowest prices we can on a wide-range of products.
We wish you all the best…..