The best time to stop smoking
Firstly, check out any support that is available. Research shows that support and counselling are very important in ensuring the long term success of any attempt to quit. The effectiveness of Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRTs) has been shown to improve if used in conjunction with counselling. Such support takes many different forms. Local NHS centres will often arrange weekly group sessions of people wanting to give up, so they can offer support and encouragement for each other but in the presence of trained professionals who can provide NRTs if required.
There are telephone hotlines to offer support too, and the internet is full of information: practical advice, health advice and stories from those who have managed to stop smoking. The message is ‘if we can stop smoking, so can you’.
Another tip when thinking about stop smoking is to work out your motivation. Better health and cutting the risk of heart disease and cancer may be an obvious reason, but for many it comes down to more personal reasons: wanting to be able to play longer with the kids; looking forward to being alive when the grandchildren are born; or making sure you spend as much time with a partner. Write all the reasons down and carry them with you. At times of temptation, you can refer to the list.
Some people’s reason to stop smoking is money. Switching to a smoking alternative like an electronic cigarette can help smoker’s make big savings but electronic cigarettes are not a recognised smoking cessation device.
Stopping smoking altogether will save the most. It’s an old trick but one that works – work out how much you will save in 12 months and imagine what you could buy with the money. From the first day you stop smoking, put the money into a savings account or an old whiskey jar – you’ll soon see how the savings increase and that will be a great motivator.
If you want to stop smoking, having a clear idea of local support and working out your real motivation will go along way to making sure you stay smoke free.