It is thought that 7 out of 10 people who smoke would like to quit, but such is the level of addiction brought on by smoking that it becomes a vicious cycle that is often almost impossible to break.
The stats for those who attempt to give up makes for similarly depressing reading. It is thought that 60% of smokers require multiple attempts at quitting before they are able to ditch the habit for any length of time. Even amongst those who have given up smoking for more than a year, it is thought that as much as 20% still experience strong cravings.
But the news isn’t all bad. According to chief medical officer for the American Lung Association, Norman Edelman, “The start of the New Year is a terrific time to implement a plan to quit. The benefits of a smoke-free lifestyle include improved overall health, economic benefits, and protecting loved ones from harmful second-hand smoke.” And with the help of some important guidelines, you could make giving up a lifetime habit. Here are a few key dos and don’ts:
- Do try: Strength in numbers
Employing family, friends or even colleagues to lend their support and help you along the way can give you a much-needed boost. Try heading out for a run or other activity with a member of your support network to take your mind off any cravings.
- Don’t try: Heading for the pub
We all know that cigarettes and alcohol go together like a horse and carriage. Indulging in one vice, particularly one that affects your hormones and judgement, will often lead to succumbing to another need for nicotine.
- Do try: Focusing on sleep and a balanced diet
Food and rest is as crucial to keeping your energy levels, hormones and concentration where they ought to be. Allow yourself to become tired, run down or listless and a pick-me-up such as a cigarette will always appear more appealing.
- Don’t try: vaping to replace the habit
The jury is still out on e-cigarettes. Most medical experts have suggested that until extensive clinical evidence can be put together, vaping should not be treated as a way to handle a smoking addiction. For those who really want to break a habit, getting away from all forms of smoking is the result you should aim for.
However, you intend to approach the “Big Quit”, remember that planning out and visualising a path to success is the first step one should always take. Statistically, those with a New Year’s resolution but no other strategy have just a 1 in 17 chance of succeeding this year. So, perhaps a plan A, B and C wouldn’t be too much of a bad idea after all.
Want to quit smoking but finding it too hard? Speak to one of our pharmacists online today about how smoking cessation medications could help you.