As with any other addiction, quitting smoking is as much a psychological challenge as it is a physical one. It’s a test of our self-restraint and mental fortitude as much as it is a simple act of cutting something out. Almost everyone who wants to quit smoking in Birmingham and beyond finds it extremely challenging because the nicotine in tobacco is highly addictive, causing physical withdrawal symptoms; we also have to overcome years of ingrained habits.
The fear of potentially fatal and severe illnesses is not often enough alone to help you quit. You know the risks, but knowing the risks and actually quitting are two very different things. This Stoptober is the perfect time to take that big, life-changing action of quitting. The moment you put down that last cigarette, your body starts to heal itself from the damage caused by the cigarette and those before it. There’s never been a better time to quit, and we’re here to support you through this time.
How to quit smoking in Birmingham for Good
Here are some tips to help make your transition away from life as a smoker a little easier:
1. Set a quit date and tell as many people as you can
This will increase your chances of success because you’ll have accountability. Ask people you’re close with to check in with you regularly – just make sure they’re someone who will be able to forgive a little irritability.
2. When you’re met with a craving, keep your hands and mouth busy
Many people smoke as it gives them something to do, so chew gum, drink from a straw, or do an activity that distracts you. Start to keep track of what triggers these cravings so you can be more aware of them. For example, you may smoke when you get bored, or to get extra breaks at work, or when stressed. Consider if you can plan ahead or make changes to eliminate these triggers.
3. List all your reasons for quitting
Keep your list to hand at all times so you can read through it when you get that craving. Alternatively, write them out in the morning and before you go to bed.
4. Stop spending time with smokers
Ask friends and family to stop smoking around you to reduce the temptation, and if you spend time around people who smoke and you don’t have to (such as going out to smoke at work), stop doing so. Make friends with people who don’t smoke so you don’t feel at a loose end.
5. Track your progress
Use a counter, calendar, or chart to track visible progress. If you find this motivating, you can even use several and tick them off at different parts of the day to keep you motivated. Perhaps you tick a box in your planner in the morning, click an app at lunchtime, and cross a day off the calendar before bed.
6. Reward yourself
You save a lot of money when you stop smoking, so put the money you would have spent on cigarettes aside. Not only will seeing all that money put aside motivate you, but consider using it (or a portion of it) to buy yourself a milestone reward. Plan these rewards ahead of time so you always have something to look forward to and to work toward. For example, reward yourself at the end of each week for the first 6-8 weeks, at the end of each month for months 1-3, and then big rewards at 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 18 months, and 2 years. What you’ve done is a huge achievement, so celebrate!
7. Take advantage of the help available
There are nasal sprays, nicotine patches, tablets, and chewing gum that can help reduce your physical cravings, and most are affordable and extremely effective. These products can make the physical symptoms much less present, so you can focus on the psychological aspects of quitting. There is also plenty of support available through the NHS, so reach out to your local services for support, advice, and motivation.
Quit Smoking in Birmingham Today
If you’re having difficulties quitting smoking, or are ready to give up for good this Stoptober, we’re here to help. At the King’s Pharmacy in Birmingham, we offer smoking support services that can help you get through the difficulties you may encounter as you quit. You can find out more about our Smoking Cessation Service here:
We can also help you choose the right anti-smoking products to curb those cravings and help you improve your health, so don’t hesitate to visit or give us a call today.
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