Strategy to 'quit smoking' for real


Lord of Penmai
Jul 5, 2011
Strategy to 'quit smoking' for real

Make 2012 the year you finally stub out that cigarette habit with our lowdown on the newest, most effective ways to give up. But even if you're a serial quitter who's given up giving up - don't lose heart, it can be done. And while stress can make you feel like you need those fags more than ever, kicking a 20-a-day habit will leave you monetarily better off.

Quitting is also the best health decision you'll ever make, with smoking still the biggest cause of premature death and preventable disease world over. The latest research suggests that understanding what it is that makes you light up in the first place is the key to finding the quit method best suited to you. Below are the most common smoking personalities with tailored advice to ensure your habit goes up in smoke.

1. The stress smoker: You can happily survive without cigarettes until you have a problem at work or fight with your partner. For you, smoking is a way to ease tension.

Quit strategy: Get moving. Exercise is not only the ideal alternative stress-buster; research shows it can help you banish cravings. When you smoke, the nicotine triggers a rapid release of adrenaline, the 'fight or flight' hormone, which speeds up your metabolism. Exercising also releases adrenaline, but in a more positive way to help the body burn fat and boost energy and mood levels, the perfect healthy substitute to satisfy a cigarette craving.

2. The nicotine junkie: Upon waking, your first thought is 'cigarette' and you smoke regularly throughout the day, feeling jittery if you miss one. Although most smokers are hooked on nicotine, the chemical addiction feels particularly strong.

Quit strategy: Try out some nicotine replacement therapy. Your priority is to break your addiction as painlessly as possible. One useful way is nicotine patches, gums or sprays that are available on prescription and more recently electronic cigarettes. Your GP can also prescribe a drug that eases nicotine withdrawal symptoms. It doubles quitting success rates, but can also cause sleeping difficulties and headaches.

3. The Social Smoker: You forget about cigarettes when alone, but as soon as you're with other smokers you succumb. The ban didn't help either, as you enjoy a fag and a chat standing outside the restaurant.

Quit strategy: Get a quit buddy. You need to make quitting a social activity. A study in The New England Journal of Medicine found the odds of stopping are significantly improved if you quit at the same time as a friend or relative.

4. The habitual smoker: Smoking has been part of the rhythm of your day for years, from your morning tea break to winding down in front of the TV at night. You can't remember life before it.

Quit strategy: Retrain your brain. Success for you means breaking the associations that you have with cigarettes and forming new, healthier habits in their place. Hypnotherapy can also be effective.

5. The serial quitter: You've tried giving up many times, using a variety of methods but none have 'stuck' for long and you're not sure why.

Quit strategy: Sheer willpower. Don't feel discouraged by your track record. After reviewing more than 500 smoking-cessation studies,University of Sydney researchers concluded that around two-thirds of ex-smokers successfully quit without medical assistance. In your case, you don't need more, hypnotherapy, patches or sprays - you just need a way to boost your resolve. According to the latest US bestseller Willpower: Rediscovering The Greatest Human Strength, by Roy FBaumeister and John Tierney, studies show the two main enemies of willpower are low glucose levels from lack of food and being tired. So never go for more than two hours without a healthy snack and getting eight hours, shut-eye per night should strengthen your resolve, making it easier to stay off those fags.

-Daily Mirror

Have a plan
- To help you identify your biggest triggers, write down the time, place and how you feel when you have a cigarette. Then write down a new habit you can do at the time instead.

- The day before quitting, stock up on everything you'll need to quit, such as nicotine patches and throw out all your cigarettes, ashtrays and lighters. Remind friends you're quitting so they can help.

- On the day you're quitting the habit, keep yourself busy. Have plenty of ideas - from reading to going for a stroll - to replace the time you normally spend smoking.

- Have a friend on call for a pep talk.

- A week later: Cravings will get weaker but avoid temptation - Just seeing someone smoking soon after quitting puts enormous strain on your willpower.

- A month later: Reward your success with a treat. And share your success - praise from friends will help you keep on the wagon!

Six surprising reasons to stop smoking

Boost your brainpower
Ex-smokers have better reasoning skills and memory than current ones.

Help you look younger
Smoking prematurely ages skin by up to 20 years and makes you four times more likely to go grey.

Increase your fertility
A study found women smokers reduced their chance of conceiving by a third.

Improve your smile
The habit is linked to gum disease, teeth stains and bad breath.

Protect your vision
It doubles your risk of age-related macular degeneration.

Make your kids happy
98 per cent of children with a smoking parent wishes that they'd quit.

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