Stopping smoking is not easy but it can be done. To be successful you have to really want to stop and you have to be ready. We will give you practical guidance on how to quit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What’s the best way to stop smoking?
A. The best way is what is best for you, because you are unique. It’s important to find out more about why you smoke, log into your personal smoker’s diary to find out the best way for you to quit.
Q. I am a social smoker, how can I stop?
A. Is there a non-smoker in your social group? If not do you feel strong enough to be the leader, you might be surprised at who else will try and quit with you. Try pros and cons to get you motivated.
You may need to avoid some of the more difficult situations in the first few weeks until you have built up your confidence. Also try to spend some time with non-smokers. If all else fails remember you are quitting for yourself.
Q. How can I go to the pub and not smoke?
A. Try avoiding the pub particularly in the early days. Try holding your drink in the hand you usually hold your cigarette in. If you associate your usual drink with having a cigarette change your drink for a while. When you feel stronger, have your usual drink at home before having it again in the pub. Beware – you are more vulnerable when you have had a drink!
Q. Will I get withdrawal symptoms?
A. The majority of people do get withdrawal symptoms (e.g. mood changes, feeling irritable or depressed, poor concentration, problems with sleeping, feeling restless). Think positively, if you get a wet chesty cough it means your body is getting rid of the rubbish in your lungs. All withdrawal symptoms are a sign that your body is recovering from the effects of tobacco.
Q. How can I help my Mum/Dad/friend to quit?
A. The person has to want to stop for themselves. Perhaps, they think they are not ready to stop. Encourage them to read the web site and try the pros and cons section.
Q. I am craving just one cigarette, will it do any harm?
A. You are administering a drug that will reach your brain within seven seconds and is as addictive as heroin. Just one always leads to another and another.
Q. Does NRT work?
A. It can help but it’s not the only answer for every person. Clinical trials demonstrate that it can double your chances of success but it is not a magic wand and you do need to be properly motivated. View the QUIT Guide to Stopping Smoking for more information.
Q. Will it matter if I keep a packet of cigarettes “just in case”?
A. If you have cigarettes at hand you are only ever two seconds away from replasing. If you have to go out to buy them it will give you a chance to let the craving pass and think about what you are doing.
Q. I want to give up but I can’t do it. Why?
A. Have you tried? Lots of people need more than one attempt and they learn something each time to make their resolve stronger. Anyone can quit if they really want to. Try the smokers diary, it will help you.
Q. I am addicted, how can I stop?
A. Most smokers feel addicted to nicotine including those who have given up. Try quitting for an entire day and see what happens. Then fill in the pros and cons and chat through your feelings with somebody close.
Q. I feel very low, always tearful and depressed.
A. It sounds as if you are not getting enough support. Some smokers see stopping as a loss, you need to think how you can replace that loss with something positive. Tell family and friends that you need extra help at the moment to help you quit and tell them how you are feeling.
Q. Does hypnotherapy and acupuncture work?
A. Both methods appear to work for some people but the results of research are not clear, so overall, their effectiveness remains unproven.
Q. Isn’t it as bad to be overweight as to be a smoker?
A. No, smokers suffer from many diseases and about one half of all smokers die as a result of smoking. The risks to your health of being a little overweight are small compared to the risk of smoking. Once you have cracked the smoking you will have more energy to tackle any weight gain. Have a look at So You Want A Healthy Body?