Tips To Help You Stop Smoking
Stopping smoking is not easy. Below are some tips which may help you to stop smoking.
Write a list of the reasons why you want to stop,
and keep them with you. Refer to them when
tempted to light up. You may wish to read a separate leaflet in this series called 'Smoking - The
'. This gives the reasons why smoking is so harmful and lists the benefits of stopping.
Set a date for stopping,
and stop completely. (Some people prefer the idea of cutting down
gradually. However, research has shown that if you smoke less cigarettes than usual, you are
likely to smoke more of each cigarette, and nicotine levels remain nearly the same. Therefore, it is
usually best to stop once and for all from a set date.)
Tell everyone that you are giving up smoking.
Friends and family often give support and may
help you. Smoking by others in the household makes giving up harder. If appropriate, try to get other household members who smoke, or friends who smoke, to stop smoking at the same time. A
'team' effort may be easier than going it alone.
Get rid of ashtrays, lighters, and all cigarettes.
Be prepared for some withdrawal symptoms.
When you stop smoking, you are likely to get
symptoms which may include: nausea (feeling sick), headaches, anxiety, irritability, craving, and just feeling awful. These symptoms are caused by the lack of nicotine that your body has been
used to. They tend to peak after 12-24 hours, and then gradually ease over 2-4 weeks.
Anticipate a cough
. It is normal for a 'smokers cough' to get worse when you stop smoking (as
the airways 'come back to life'). Many people say that this makes them feel worse for a while after
stopping smoking and makes them tempted to restart smoking. Resist this temptation! The cough usually gradually eases.
Be aware of situations
in which you are most likely to want to smoke. In particular, drinking
alcohol is often associated with failing in an attempt to stop smoking. You should consider not drinking much alcohol in the first few weeks after stopping smoking. Try changing your routine for
the first few weeks. For example, dont go to the pub for a while if that is a tempting place to smoke
and drink alcohol. Also, if drinking tea and coffee are difficult times, try drinking mainly fruit juice and plenty of water instead.
Take one day at a time.
Mark off each successful day on a calendar. Look at it when you feel
tempted to smoke, and tell yourself that you don't want to start all over again.
You can tell people that you don't smoke. You will smell better. After a few weeks you
should feel better, taste your food more, and cough less. You will have more money. Perhaps put away the money you would have spent on cigarettes for treats.
Some people worry about gaining weight when they give up smoking as the appetite may
improve. Anticipate an increase in appetite, and try not to increase fatty or sugary foods as snacks.
Try sugar-free gum and fruit instead.
Don't despair if you fail
. Examine the reasons why you felt it was more difficult at that particular
time. It will make you stronger next time. On average, people who eventually stop smoking have
Stop Smoking Clinics
are available on the NHS in many parts of the country. They have a good
success in helping people to stop smoking. Your doctor may refer you to one if you are keen to
stop smoking but are finding it difficult to do so.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
can help if withdrawal symptoms are troublesome.
Nicotine gum, sprays, patches, tablets, lozenges, and inhalers are available. Using one of these roughly doubles your chance of stopping smoking if you really want to stop. A pharmacist, GP,
practice nurse or Stop Smoking Clinic can advise about NRT. There is also a separate leaflet
called 'Nicotine Replacement Therapy
' which gives more details.
A medicine called bupropion (trade name 'Zyban')
is another option. It also roughly doubles
your chance of stopping smoking if you really want to stop. It helps reduce the symptoms of
nicotine withdrawal. It may be advised by a GP or Stop Smoking Clinic if you are determined to stop, but are finding it difficult. A separate leaflet called 'Bupropion (Zyban) - a Help to Stop
Further help and information
- a charity that helps people to stop smoking.
Quitline: 0800 00 22 00 Web: www.quit.org.uk
NHS smoking helpline:
Tel: 0800 169 0 169 Web: www.givingupsmoking.co.uk
NHS Pregnancy Smoking Helpline
Lines are open daily from 12 noon - 9pm. Services include support and advice from a trained adviser who understands the different issues pregnancy brings. They also have a call-back service
to give you ongoing support throughout pregnancy.
EMIS and PIP 2005 Updated: August 2005 PRODIGY Validated
Comprehensive patient resources are available at www.patient.co.uk
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