Here are twelve tips for giving up smoking. Most people need advice and help when they decide to quit smoking, so here are my top tips.
1. The first of my tips for giving up smoking might be the most important. Set a date to quit and stick to it – do not cut down – cut out! It’s my view that cutting down is less effective than stopping altogether. It’s not easy to remember exactly how many cigarettes you smoke – so it’s too easy to find that the number of cigarettes you smoke gradually increases. Set your date for stopping, and on that date STOP!
2. The first tip automatically leads to the second tip. It’s not easy to quit smoking! As I point out on another page, the success rate for quitting by willpower alone (‘cold turkey’) is very low – in the order of 4% to 10%. So, my second tip is that you use some means of supporting your quitting. There are a number of methods that can help you quit smoking: nicotine replacement therapy (patches and gum); drugs such as Zyban or Champix / Chantix; e-cigarettes; acupuncture; aromatherapy; massage; hypnosis. As a hypnotherapist I favour the use of hypnosis to help you quit smoking. But my views are based on the evidence of clinical studies, which show that hypnosis has the highest proven quit smoking success rate. For hypnosis to quit smoking you have a choice: visit a hypnotherapist (who will charge you – but it will still cost less than you spend on tobacco!); learn self hypnosis. For a review of the quit smoking success rates, follow this link:
3. The third of my tips for giving up smoking is to write a list of all the
reasons you want to quit. Write it down visible – so that it is easy
to see and read, then stick the list somewhere visible. Put the list in
a place where you will see it regularly. This way you will be
regularly reminded of all the positive reasons you have for quitting
4. My next tip for giving up smoking is to remove temptation! When you quit smoking, remove all tobacco from the house. I also recommend that you remove all ashtrays, lighters, and any other items connected with your smoking habit. You could perform a ritual – make a special event of clearing out all your smoking paraphernalia – even have a witness! I can add to this tip by suggesting that you also wash all your clothes and do a thorough clean of your house to remove as much of the tobacco smell as possible. This will be like a fresh start for you – every connection with tobacco is gone.
5. The fifth of my tips for giving up smoking is to tell everyone that you are quitting. If everyone knows, then your family can support you and your smoker friends can help by not offering you tobacco.
6. My next tip for giving up smoking is to set targets – write them down and reward yourself for each achievement. So, for example your first target might be to have no cigarettes for 1 month. When you achieve that target then you can reward yourself. Rewarding yourself reinforces the positive feelings you have when you quit smoking. You can reward yourself in a number of ways: use the money you save by not smoking to buy yourself something you like; do something you like (go to the cinema, or go to the theatre, or go to a nice restaurant, or visit some attraction).
7. Another tip for giving up smoking is to create a ‘quitting partnership’. By this I mean that if you know someone else who is quitting smoking then you can quit together. If you quit with another smoker then you can support one another. If you quit with your partner then you can also share all the rewards!
The remaining tips for giving up smoking all help deal with the process, and the body!
8. Get some exercise. This does not need to be arduous – even a little walking will help. Exercise will help you body recover from the abuse of tobacco – the blood flow more quickly around the body, so the toxins are moved more efficiently and more quickly.
9. Substitute something for the tobacco habit. Examples of substitutes might be: deep breathing, chewing gum. (Don’t use sweets as the substitute!)
10. Avoid triggers – avoid the situations when you would normally smoke. This may seem like a hardship, but it’s only a temporary measure until you have achieved your aim – the aim of being a non-smoker. You could include this in your target setting – for example you could decide not to go drinking with your pals for 1 month.
11. If you have a craving, then do something else to keep busy I order to take your mind off the craving. Of course, you could also try the ‘cravings buster’ I have put on another page on this site – follow this link, and click on ‘detailed techniques’ then click on ‘cravings buster - below’:
12. My final tip for giving up smoking is to try new ways to relax, and ensure you can deal with stress. I have an entire section o this site related to stress and stress management – be sure you take a look.
So there you have 12 tips for giving up smoking. Remember, the benefits of quitting smoking are worth all the effort.
Self hypnosis is not a substitute for medical treatment for medical conditions. Under no circumstances should you stop taking medication that has been prescribed for you by a doctor unless you are told to do so by that doctor.
If you suffer from epilepsy, or if you are being actively treated for depression or any other mental health problem, you should seek medical advice before learning self hypnosis.
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