Stopping smoking can be one of the most difficult things we can attempt. Not only are you fighting against a chemical addiction (with cigarettes being specifically designed to be as addictive as possible) but also years of habit as well.
That's why even when you have nicotine patches or gum it can be so difficult to actually quit!
Here at SMOKO we collected some of the most helpful tips (including using an e-cigarette) that got us through those first few days without a cigarette.
1. FIND YOUR REASON
Everyone knows the smoking is terrible for you, but still millions of people light up every day. For many of us we have gotten used to ignoring all the warnings and so when we try and quit the dire warnings don’t have the same effect.
The trick then is to focus on just one of the reasons to quit. For some people that will be the health reasons, after all by some counts every cigarette you smoke you lose 11 minutes of your life. That isn't even mentioning all the horrible problems cigarettes cause to your body.
If that doesn't affect you maybe think about how smoking is affecting those around you. With second and even third hand smoke harming those around you maybe it's time to make a change.
Maybe though your health isn’t the driving factor for quitting. The “good” news is that smoking affects all aspects of your life, not just your lungs. For example it is always surprising how much money you spend on cigarettes every month.
Another one is how smoking effects how you look and smell, yellow teeth and the stink of stale smoke isn't exactly appealing.
Whatever your motivation is keep it in mind when you feel yourself start to slip, it can help you when you get that sudden craving.
2. DON'T GO “COLD TURKEY”
There are people out there who can stop smoking without any help whatsoever. However they are rare and most people who try and go cold turkey fall back into smoking. In fact only 1 in 300 smokers can quit by going cold turkey!
With the help of e-cigarettes your chances of quitting go way up. as you can get the hit of nicotine your body needs without all the harmful toxins that are in cigarettes.
Switching to e-cigarettes (which are 95% less harmful then cigarettes) gives you the feeling of a cigarettes but without all the nasty side effects, and it's much cheaper too!
3. LEAN ON YOUR LOVED ONES
If you try and make a change in your life without telling anyone then it makes it much easier for you to fall back into old habits.
But by telling friends and family you not only get their support but you feel much more obligated to go through with it. They can give you the determination to keep going when the cravings get rough, and just the idea that you might let down your friends and family can be enough to stop you from reaching for a cigarette when the cravings get bad.
4. AVOID YOUR TRIGGERS, FIND A NEW WAY TO RELAX
We all have triggers for smoking, for a lot of people it is a daily ritual. Lighting up with their morning coffee or when they are having a drink with friends is as natural as breathing.
Triggers can be anything which you associate with smoking, and can't imagine doing without a cigarette in your hand. Figuring out what they are and working around them is one of the most important things you can do when you are trying to quit.
One of the most common triggers is the feeling of stress. Most people say that they use cigarettes to release stress, even though that has been proven to be false. If you can avoid stress for the first couple of days that can greatly help with quitting.
Cutting down on stress however is easier said then done. E-cigarettes are extremely useful here, they have the nicotine that can stop your body's cravings (which helps with the stress). And if for you having a cigarette with your morning coffee is essential replacing the cigarette with an e-cigarette can be the difference between quitting and falling back into smoking.
5. CLEAN HOUSE
If you are serious about quitting then making sure that you start with a clean slate can be vital. If you keep the ashtrays and the lighters all around the house they are not only a constant reminder of smoking but they make it easier to fall back.
By getting rid of them all you not only make you house officially a no smoke area, which is a great psychological boost, but it makes it physically harder to smoke (as there is nothing to light them with).
Doing a full clear out and clean of the house can get you into the frame of mind to quit. It also makes the house a nicer place to be. Cleaning the house and your clothes of the smell of cigarettes will also show you how much better your life can be without cigarettes.
E-cigarettes can be great for this as well, as they produce vapour, not smoke. You can still get your nicotine without ruining all the hard work as they don’t make any smell.
6. SAVE THE MONEY YOU WOULD HAVE SPENT ON CIGARETTE
As you might imagine the amount of money you save from quitting smoking is huge. And as cigarette prices rise that cost is only going to go up. With a pack of cigarettes getting over £10 you could be spending over £70 a week! That means that over a year you could save £3640 or more if you decide to quit.
This money though is imaginary, and it can be easy to forget how much money you are actually saving. For the first couple of months every time you would have paid for cigarettes, instead put that money into a jar. It will amaze you how quickly the money builds up. It is also a great visual aid to show how much you are saving, and an incentive to keep going.
You can still do this with e-cigarettes as well, after all e-cigarettes are much cheaper the cigarettes (a box of refills which contains 200 cigarettes of nicotine is £10). By doing this you can keep your nicotine cravings in check and still save money.
7. DON'T BE TOO HARD ON YOURSELF IF YOU FAIL
Quitting is hard, perhaps one of the hardest things many of us will do. Falling off the wagon then is likely; the important thing then is not give up.
When you first quit it is easy to give up and fall back into old ways. The mind-set of "I've already failed, I might as well have a few more" is the worst thing you can think. Continuing to try even after you fail is all important and if you can do that, then you will eventually become smoke free.
Hopefully that has given you a few idea for your next attempt to get off cigarettes and if you are interested in making the switch then have a look at our starter kits! E-cigarettes have already helped millions of people in the UK alone get off cigarettes for good and maybe they can help you too.