Top tips for quitting smoking

Whatever your reasons are for quitting smoking, there's lots of advice and information out there to support you on your way to being smokefree

Remembering your motivations and knowing how to say 'no' can keep each craving at bay for that little bit longer. Here's our top tips to staying away from tobacco for good...

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Remember your reasons

Everyone has their own reasons to quit; whether it’s for your family, to improve your health, to save money. Write down your reasons and keep them handy for when things get tough.

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Pick a date

Setting a quit date in advance can help you prepare. Lots of people choose a significant date like the 1st January or their birthday, but any date is a good date. Put it in your diary and start to think of it as a positive day to make a change.

Involve friends and family

It'll be easier to quit together, with a friend or family member. You'll get support from one another and it'll mean there's less temptation as less people are smoking around you - you won't want to let each other down.

Plan for temptations and testing times

Usually smoke first thing in the morning? On your tea break in work, or with a pint in the evening? For the first couple of weeks it can be helpful to avoid certain ‘triggers’ in your life to make it easier to resist temptation.

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Find something to do 

Most cravings only last for about 3 minutes, so have something to do if you do find yourself craving a cigarette. This can be something like chewing gum, knitting or having a healthy snack.

Deal with any weight gain worries

Some people do gain weight when they quit smoking because nicotine suppress appetite. There are ways to avoid gaining weight though, such as changing your diet, snacking healthily or taking advantage of your fitter lungs by exercising.

Get support

There are lots of friendly and free places (online and in person) to get tailored support, especially for you. Check our full list here.

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Get access to free Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)

NRT such as patches or nicotine gum, is available free on prescription from your GP and from some pharmacies. E-cigarettes are popular as an alternative to smoking, and we know they're 95% safer than normal cigarettes. Using NRT can help relieve some of the early cravings and help you with your quit attempt.

Set yourself realistic expectations

We can't promise quitting smoking will be easy. It will take willpower and it will be a challenge. But never give up on giving up. Congratulate yourself and remember to feel proud of every smokefree hour and every smokefree day. Soon you’ll be celebrating smokefree months and years. And just think how great that will feel!