The start of a new year is the most popular time to embark on a quit smoking attempt. To help you to get started, we’ve put together a list of top quit tips from our brilliant team of smoking cessation experts.
“All the evidence we have suggests vaping is much safer than smoking. Make sure you use a regulated product sold from a retailer you trust, and if you can, also get support from a stop smoking advisor.” Jamie Hartmann-Boyce Senior Researcher at the University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences.
“Simply staying away from situations where you would normally smoke can limit cravings. When cravings strike it is very important to do something positive – not just wait them out. Simple breathing exercises can help and so can going for a walk or finding something interesting to occupy the mind. Cravings are often worst in the evenings and going to bed early is something a lot of smokers do.” Robert West professor of Psychology at University College London and author of The Stop Smoking Formula.
“Choosing the right support is really important. Cutting down just makes cigarettes seem more precious – so our advice is always to carry on smoking as normal until you stub out your final cigarettes. Advice differs for other methods – so my number one advice would be to follow the instructions of whatever method you use.” John Dicey, CEO of Allen Carr’s Easyway stop smoking method.
“When we experience cravings and they are intense, it can be a good tactic to remind ourselves of the consequences if we pick up a cigarette once more. One good way to support this may to make two lists.
1 – What will life be like 5 years from now if I continue to smoke – maybe include “I’ll be less fit, I’ll have more health issues, I’ll have less money…”
2 – What will life be like in 5 years if I stop smoking? – maybe include “I’ll be healthier, I’ll be fitter, I’ll have more money, my clothes will be fresher…” Steve Clarke is clinical and therapy services manager for The Priory Group
“Smoking is a powerful addiction so why not get medical help. I don’t see any difference between smoking addiction and a physical illness. If you had diabetes for instance you would think nothing of seeking medical help. There is plenty of support out there so why make life difficult for yourself when giving up smoking is the most important thing you can do for your health.” Dr Alex Bobak, GP and smoking cessation specialist
“The key to success is about people being in the right frame of mind. I try to avoid starting people on the stop smoking programme if they are going through a particularly stressful time in their life or if they have a holiday or big celebration coming up. If people are really struggling I’ve learnt to say ‘let’s draw a line under this. Don’t beat yourself up’. I give them a handshake and say well done for trying.”
Gwawr Davies Jones, pharmacist who provides smoking cessation support