We're now nearly four weeks into the new year, a time when resolutions have either already been broken or may be stretched to the limits. If your promise was to axe cigarettes from your life and you've been feeling the pressure, today might be one of the better days to get back in the habit. The Quit Smoking helpline gave us their top tips to successfully kick the habit.
10. Prepare to quit
Write down the reasons why you want to stop smoking and keep that list to hand. Weigh up the pros and cons of smoking and remember it when the going gets rough.
9. Chose a date
When deciding when to cut out the habit, pick a day you're ready to stop and stick to it. Some people to like to gradually cut down and smoking before cutting down altogether, but most decide to stop altogether. Whichever you chose, pick a date and try your best to stick to it.
8. Get support
Quitting smoking is not easy. Be sure to seek the support of family and friends for positivity. There's also the national smokers' quitline, which you can call on 1850 201 203 or access through quit.ie.
7. Change routine and plan ahead
Smoking is often linked to certain habits or times in the day. These triggers are often when the cravings start. Try and replace these triggers with similar activities. If you usually have a cigarette with coffee, try switching to tea for a while.
6. Exercise regularly
Exercise will not only be a welcome distraction, but it also contributes to good health and manages weight. It also acts as a good method of de-stressing.
5. Think positive
Withdrawal symptoms are a very difficult aspect of going cold turkey, but it's all part of feeling better in the long run and they're positive signs that the body is recovering. Coughing, irritability and sleep disturbances are completely normal, so don't worry about them and will disappear.
4. Learn to deal with cravings
Cravings can occur often during the first few days after quiting and can increase in intensity for three to five minutes. Try not to give in to them. After this time, they begin to subside. There are 4Ds when it comes to dealing with cravings. Delay yourself for at least three minutes. Drink a glass of water or juice. Distract yourself. Deep and slow breaths.
3. Start saving money
Put away the money you'd usually spend on cigarettes. See how much you'd save over the space of a day, a month and a year. This positive reinforcement will see your savings start to grow.
2. Watch what you eat
Many people going cold turkey worry about putting on weight. If you're worried, be extra careful with your diet. It may sound obvious, but not snacking on chocolate or biscuits will help cut down on weight gain. Fruit or sugar-free gum would be a better alternative.
1. Take one day at a time
Quitting smoking is a difficult, but worthwhile activity. Every day you spend without a cigarette will benefit your health. The use of electronic cigarettes is not recommended, as their effects have not yet been researched.