New Years Day may sound like a good time to stop smoking but it can be a very stressful day to choose.
Not all smokers are the same, if you’ve decided that’s it, you just want to stop – then just do it! There is no time like the present. Your chances of succeeding, though, will be greatly improved if you get help. Call either the Quitline on 0800 00 22 00, the NHS Stop Smoking line on 0800 169 0169 or speak to your Doctor as soon as you can.
However, if you wake up on New Year’s day not feeling your best, facing yet another day of stressful relatives, you might want to delay your decision. This extra time will allow you to plan, build motivation, understand what will happen to your body, organise smokefree social activities and put together your support network. Most importantly set a date (not too far away) as your quit day and stick to it, this is the start of your new life as a non-smoker.
Deborah Arnott, Director of ASH said: “Remember, you are not alone in wanting to stop smoking. Over 70% of smokers would like to quit and around 3 million try each year. More than 11 million people in Britain have quit and are now nonsmokers. You can become one too.”
ASH’s tips are:
1 On New Years day itself, if you decide that today is too stressful make a resolution to quit on or before No Smoking Day (8 March). Setting your quit date and sticking to it helps in mental preparation
2. Phone the professionals: your chances of succeeding are greatly improved with qualified help. Call the Quitline: 0800 00 22 00, or the NHS Stop Smoking line on 0800 169 0169
3. Know what to expect: many people find the first few days very difficult. Nicotine withdrawal may make you restless, irritable, frustrated and sleepless. These things will pass and you will start to feel the benefits of your decision quickly.
4. Make a list of the reasons why you want to stop and carry these around with you
“Most smokers quit because of health reasons” Ms Arnott said, “many others quit because they realise the amount of money they are wasting. Some people want to set a good example to their children, other people have lost loved ones to smoking related illnesses. Each person’s reason for quitting is their own, all are equally valid.”
5. Consider the money: smokers spend up to £92,000 on cigarettes in their lifetime, that’s a lot of money that could have been spent on something else.
6. Involve family or friends. Find others to quit with or join an NHS stop smoking service or local stop smoking group. Quitting with others helps to encourage you and by supporting each other your chances of success are better.
Go to smokefree.nhs.uk and find the group nearest you
7. Deal with nicotine withdrawal: this can include the use of nicotine replacement therapies such as gums and patches or prescription medication lie Zyban (bupropion). Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss the treatment that will work best for you.
8. Avoid temptation and watch out for relapse: in the first couple days avoid situations where you would usually smoke, and throw out lighters etc. Remember that if you do ‘just have one’ not to use this as an excuse to continue smoking, make it your last and go back to quitting.
9. Take it one day at a time and start to consider yourself as a nonsmoker.
10. Key websites for more information include:
Quit: charity that helps people stop smoking www.quit.org.uk
NHS Stop Smoking website: smokefree.nhs.uk
No smoking day: many useful tips www.nosmokingday.org.uk
ASH:www.ash.org.uk or www.ash.org.uk/stopping-smoking/quitting-smoking