Published: 19th March, 2013
in: Quit Smoking
Make a plan to give up
Make a promise, set a date and stick to it. Don’t be put off by a party, special meal or other time when you’d normally smoke.
You may have tried to give up before, but tell yourself that this time you’re really determined to do it.
Change your diet
Is your after-dinner cigarette your favourite? A new American study has revealed that some foods, including meat, make cigarettes more satisfying; others, including cheese, fruit and vegetables, make cigarettes taste terrible. So swap your steak or burger for a vegetable pizza.
Change your drink
Alcohol, fizzy drinks, tea, coffee and cola, tea and coffee all make cigarettes taste better. So when you’re out, drink more water and juice. Some people find that simply changing their drink, for instance from wine to vodka and tomato juice, can change their usual craving.
Identify your problem times
A craving can last five minutes, so before you give up, make a list of five-minute strategies. For example, you could leave the party for a minute, dance or go to the bar. And think about this: smoking and drinking heavily together raises your risk of mouth cancer by 38 times.
Get some support
If anyone you know wants to give up too, suggest to them that you give up together?
Some new research has just proved that exercise (even a stretch or five-minute walk) can cut cravings and may help you produce anti-craving brain chemicals.
Make non-smoking friends
When you’re at a party, stick with the non-smokers. "When you look at the smokers, don’t wish you could have a cigarette, look and think what they’re doing is a little strange – lighting a small white stick and inhaling smoke – very unnatural. Ex-smokers can also be good friends to have and can show understanding and support.
Do something with your hands and mouth
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) can make you twice as likely to succeed. As well as patches, there are tablets, lozenges, gum and a nasal spray. If you enjoy the act of holding a cigarette, use an inhalator. Try putting your drink in the hand that usually holds a cigarette or drinking from a straw.
Make a list
Keep reminding yourself why you gave up. Make a list of the reasons and read it when you need support. Carry a picture of a loved one and when you are tempted look at it.