THERE’S no perfect time to stop smoking. However, by following these basic rules, you can boost your chances of success.
Steer clear of stress
It’s best not to coincide your quit attempt with stressful situations in your life. Most smokers light up because they believe smoking helps them to relax. If you’re one of them then you’re more likely to cave in and start smoking again if you try to quit when facing challenging events. Obviously it’s impossible to predict when life will become stressful, or to avoid stress altogether, but if you know a stressful event is looming on the horizon, then think twice before deciding to quit at that time.
Lots of smokers quit in the New Year and there’s a good reason for that – the party season is over.
Temptation lies around every corner during big social events, from the crowds congregating for a communal smoke outside, to the urge to have a smoke with a drink in your hand. If you’re a social smoker who tends to smoke while socialising, it’s particularly important to think about whether to quit smoking during the festive party season as you may find it harder to resist the temptation to light up. Likewise, if you have a big family event, wedding or party coming up then time your quit attempt wisely.
Booking a holiday is a fantastic way to celebrate quitting smoking and a great way to spend that extra cash you’ll save as a result. However, if you give up during your break, the urge to have a cigarette while sipping your evening cocktail may prove too much. And while holidays are supposed to be a time to relax, they can prove stressful, particularly those involving children or extended family. So why not wait until you’re home or delay booking your break until you’ve actually given up.
Out of office
Smoking can become a big part of people’s daily routines. A cigarette in the morning before breakfast, smoking on the way home after work and taking smoking break with colleagues are hard habits to break. If you work and are serious about quitting, you could consider booking a few days off work to break up your usual routine and improve your chances. Quitting smoking while you’re off work will mean you can really focus on your goal and combat your cravings away from the stresses and distractions of working life.
Preparation is everything
When it comes to planning your quit attempt good preparation is key. Set a date and stick to it. Once you’ve decided on the date then plan what you’ll need in place to help you quit. If you’re going to use nicotine replacement therapy to cope with nicotine cravings, make sure you research what products are available and collect some in advance so that it’s there when you need it. Your GP and pharmacist can help you to decide what to take. If you’ll be quitting using an e-cigarette, visit your local vape shop and buy a starter pack to get you going.
Tell friends and family in advance that you’re planning to give up so they can be there to provide support and motivation if you need it. Plan activities to distract you from cravings and decide on a coping strategy if you find yourself in a situation where you’re tempted to smoke.