This the month of October was branded ‘Stoptober’ by the government in an initiative intended to encourage people to give up smoking. All 12 months of the year however are good for stopping smoking.
Stopping smoking is hard. This is for a number of reasons, one of which is just how addictive substance nicotine is. There are other reasons that make it hard to quit however, in particular how pervasive cigarettes and smoking are.
Ultimately every attempt to give up smoking succeeds or fails based on one thing alone: willpower. Your willpower may be weak, but focusing on the reasons why you want to stop can strengthen it!
Of the negative consequences of smoking one of the most immediate is that on your pocket. Cigarettes and tobacco are expensive, and are only going to become more so over time. A great first step to giving up is to work out how much you spend on the habit in a week, then multiply to see what it is costing you a year.
Guess what? Those health warnings on packs of cigarettes are not lies. Smoking related diseases are both common and potentially deadly. Spend some time reading about lung cancer symptoms next time you feel like lighting up and it should help to stay strong.
It is always worth remembering that there are positive health benefits to stopping smoking. These are much more immediate than extra years on the end of your life. Just half an hour needs to pass after your final cigarette before your blood pressure and heart rate drop.
Nicotine withdrawal feels bad for an addict. Nicotine replacement products are something that some people have found helpful in dealing with this when stopping smoking. Examples of these are nicotine chewing gum and patches. It should be remembered though that this is just keeping up the addiction by other means, and that nicotine is a deadly poison.
The social aspect of smoking is one of the things that discourages people from stopping. The banishment of smokers from indoor areas has meant that smokers gather outside. It can be hard to give this up. Remember though there is no law that says you need a fag in your hand to stand around outside in the cold!
Don’t let setbacks get in your way
Many people will falter when giving up smoking. It only takes one moment of weakness to light up a cigarette, but far too often this leads to smoking regularly again. If you wake up after a heavy night out and realise you were smoking, grit your teeth and stop again. If you bought a packet of cigarettes, throw them out, don’t wait until you finish them.
Have you stopped smoking? What worked for you?