Benefits of Quitting:
- After 20 minutes, your pulse returns to normal.
- After 8 hours, blood levels of nicotine and carbon monoxide are reduced by more than half and your oxygen levels should return to normal.
- After 24 hours, the carbon monoxide is almost eliminated from your body and the lungs start to clear.
- After 2 days your sense of smell and taste improve.
- After 3 days, you can enjoy breathing more easily and your energy levels increase.
- After 2-12 weeks, your blood circulation should start to improve.
- After 3-9 months, your lung function increases by up to 10%.
- After 1 year, your excess heart attack risk reduces by half.
- After 10 years, your risk of lung cancer reduces to about ½ compared to someone who smokes.
- After 15 years, your risk of having a heart attack is the same as if you’d never smoked.
It can also result in:
- Improved fertility
- Better smelling clothes
- Possibility of an improved sex life
- Less stress
- More money
- Skin has healthier appearance
- Whiter teeth compared to if you had continued to smoke
- Smoking is the biggest cause of preventable deaths in England. More than 80,000 people die from smoking related diseases each year.
- There are over 7,000 chemicals in cigarettes, many of which are harmful.
- Only 3-5 out of 100 people who attempt to quit with willpower alone are successfully smoke-free after 12 months.
- Using Nicorette QuickMist makes you 150% more likely to break the habit and quit smoking for good, versus willpower alone.
Cravings and Withdrawal Symptoms:
There are two types of cravings:
1. A steady and constant background craving for a cigarette. This type of craving decreases in intensity several weeks after quitting.
2. Sudden bursts of intense desire or urge to smoke. These urges to smoke tend to become less frequent over time but their intensity can remain strong even after many months of quitting and are generally triggered by a cue such as drinking alcohol and feeling stressed.
There are 3 tried and tested ways to tame cravings:
1. Nicotine replacement therapy, such as Nicorette products.
2. Behaviour changes.
3. Prescription stop smoking medicines.
When you stop smoking, the reduced nicotine intake will disturb the balance of the central nervous system, causing withdrawal symptoms. Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms are:
- Anxiety - Activities including yoga or pilates can be a great help to find relaxation.
- Concentration issues - Use diversion techniques to keep your mind busy when dealing with a craving.
- Falling heart rate - It’s a good sign. Quitting considerably reduces your risk of heart disease.
- Insomnia - Why not try to relax before bedtime by taking a warm bath?
- Cravings for nicotine - Avoid the triggers such as coffee and alcohol drink.
- Depression or low mood - Make a list of the reasons why you quit and run through it when your resolve weakens.
- Anger - Find a new hobby. Dancing or painting can help to release tension and help you deal with your cravings.
- Restlessness - Avoid drinking tea and coffee.
Tips for Quitting:
Quit with a friend
A US study in 2008 found that people whose friends quit were 36% more likely to stop themselves, while people in small firms whose workmates quit were 34% less likely to smoke too.
The money you save on cigarettes to buy yourself a treat
Consider how much money you could save on not buying cigarettes and motivate yourself by planning what you could spend it on.
Surround yourself with support
Most people are well aware that stopping smoking is a good thing! And people understand quitting is a challenge and requires bag-loads of willpower, therefore most will be supportive of your decision. However, there might be the odd occasion when people aren’t supportive, and it might help to avoid being around them for a while.
Break the routine with a change of scene
If you have friends you used to light-up with, it can be tricky knowing how to stop smoking without having to stop seeing them. How about suggesting a change of scene, one which doesn’t revolve around cigarettes? If nipping out for a cigarette break at work was a chance for a good natter with your colleague, why not ask them if they’d like to have a weekly coffee or lunch?
Keep busy whenever you feel the urge to smoke by keeping active. Early mornings are often the most difficult time so try a new hobby. Spending more time with friends who don't smoke will help you to avoid the temptation of social smoking.
Doing something active could work wonders for helping take your mind off withdrawal symptoms while you quit. The benefits of getting out in the fresh air are endless; it can boost endorphins – those happy hormones that come in very handy when you’re in need of a motivation boost – as well as helping you be active. Lung capacity improves by as much as 10% in nine months when you quit.
Identify your craving triggers
Drinking alcohol is one of the most common craving triggers, so try drink less when you first give up. A craving can last for up to five minutes so before you give up, make a list of five minute strategies of things to do when a craving hits and do until these cravings end.
Try Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Nicorette offer a range of NRT products which can help tackle cigarette cravings and help you on your quit attempt. Smoking involves doing something with your hands and mouth so it’s a good idea to find a temporary substitute habit to compensate for this, such as chewing gum or drinking water.
Make a date
Choosing a date and sticking to it can help with your mental preparation for quitting. Preparing a list of reasons why you want to stop smoking may help you through difficult moments.
If you feel tempted, think about anything except lighting a cigarette – a nice day out, a meal or a pleasant memory. The less you think about smoking the easier it will be to stay smoke free.
Quitting smoking is easier with the right support. The One You Personal Quit Plan is a quick and easy tool that encourages smokers to make a quit attempt with support that is tailored to their habits rather than going 'cold turkey'. To start your free personal quit plan, click here.