Although rates of smoking have decreased in the UK in recent years, approximately 6.9 million people over the age of 18 are smokers. Smoking harms almost all organs in the body, increasing your risk of having a heart attack or stroke and it is a leading cause of preventable death.
Heart Research UK is here to help you add more healthy years to your life with tips on how to quit smoking during the month-long Stoptober challenge.
Get some Stoptober support
Getting support to stop smoking can increase your chances of success. You could try contacting your local Stop Smoking Services or chatting to your GP. You could also seek advice from a friend or family member who has successfully stopped smoking or someone who is also trying to quit. Stop smoking aids, such as nicotine patches, gums, lozenges or nasal sprays may also help to stop the cravings. You are four times more likely to succeed with the help of health professionals, so contact your local NHS Stop Smoking Service.
Break the routine
Finding yourself with extra time when you would normally be smoking can lead to overwhelming cravings. Know your triggers and change your routine by avoiding places you would normally associate with smoking. In the early stages it is important to remove visual triggers, such as lighters or cigarette papers. When cravings hit, it’s important to stay busy, so try taking a 10-minute brisk walk, engage your hands and your brain on a quick quiz, or go off and do something completely different until the cravings pass.
Make a list of reasons to quit
Listing the reasons why you want to quit smoking can help. Whenever you feel the urge to smoke, you can read this list and it should inspire you to keep going. Remind yourself of the health and financial benefits you will gain from stopping smoking, as well as the benefits to your loved ones.
Remember, it’s never too late to quit smoking, so why not join the thousands of people going smoke-free this month for Stoptober.