Published: 19th March, 2013 in: Quit Smoking
Q. What's the best way to stop smoking? A. The best way is what is best for you. It's important to find out more about why you smoke, start using your personal smokers diary to establish what works best for you. Q. I am a social smoker, how can I stop? A. Are there any non - smokers in your social group? If not do you feel strong enough to be the leader, you might be surprised at who else will try and stop with you. Try pros and cons to get you motivated. You may need to avoid some of the more difficult situations in the first few weeks until you have built up some momentum and confidence. Also try to spend some time with non - smokers. If all else fails remember you are quitting for yourself. Q. How can I go to the pub and not smoke? A. Try avoiding the pub particularly in the early days. Try holding your drink in the hand you usually hold your cigarette in. If you associate your usual drink with having a cigarette chose a different drink for a while. When you feel stronger, have your usual drink at home before having it again in the pub. Announce to everyone you know that you are quitting and won’t be coming outside with any smokers when they go for a smoke. Beware - you are more vulnerable when you have had a drink and more likely to give in to temptation! Q. Will I get withdrawal symptoms? A. The majority of people do get some symptoms of withdrawal (e.g. mood changes, feeling irritable or depressed) poor concentration, feeling restless, problems with sleeping. Think positively, if you get a chesty cough it is because your body is getting rid of the rubbish built up in your lungs. All withdrawal symptoms are a sign that your body is recovering from the effects of tobacco and will ease over time. Q. Does NRT work? A. It can help but it’s not the only answer for everyone. Clinical trials demonstrate that it can double your chances of success but it is not a magic wand and you do need to be properly motivated and really want to give up. Look at all the stop smoking methods to find the right one for you. Q. How can I help my Mum/Dad/ Friend to quit? A. The person has to want to stop for themselves before you can help them or offer any support. Perhaps, they think they are not ready to stop. Encourage them to read about giving up and try the pros and cons table. Q. I am craving just one cigarette, will it do any harm? A. Yes - you are taking a drug that will reach your brain within seven seconds and is as addictive as heroin. Just one always leads to another and another. Q. Will it matter if I keep a packet of cigarettes "just in case"? A. Absolutely - if you have cigarettes at hand you are only ever two seconds away from relapsing. If you have to go out to buy them it will give you a chance to let the craving pass and think about what you are doing. Q. I want to give up but I can't do it, why? A. Have you tried? Lots of people need more than one attempt and they learn something each time to make their resolve stronger. Anyone can quit if they really want to. Try using the smokers diary, and prepare properly, it will help you. Q. I am addicted, how can I stop? A. Most smokers feel addicted to nicotine including those who have given up. Try quitting for an entire day and see what happens. Then fill in the pros and cons and chat through your feelings with a helpline. Q. I feel very low, tearful and depressed. A. It sounds as if you are not getting enough support. Some smokers see stopping as a loss, you need to think how you can replace that loss with something positive. Tell family and friends that you need extra help at the moment to help you quit or ring one of the helplines and tell them how you are feeling. Q. Isn't it as bad to be overweight as to be a smoker? A. No, smokers suffer from many diseases and about one half of all smokers die as a result of smoking. The risks to your health of being a little overweight are small compared to the risk of smoking. Once you have cracked the smoking you will have more energy to tackle any weight gain.