Kick the habit

Maya Driver

Most smokers decide to quit smoking at some point in their lives and not all of them are successful, I can tell you. It's not an easy thing to stop smoking for good: just when you think you don't need another cigarette, you let your guard down and before you know it you've fallen off the wagon. Whatever you do, don't be disheartened and don't give up giving up! If you have decided to quit, either for the first time or the umpteenth time, arm yourself with our helpful hints to quit smoking.

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If you have tried to quit before but it didn't work, take some time to think about where you went wrong. Maybe you smoke when you're bored or when you're at work. Try to find ways to distract yourself or remove yourself from temptation at these times.

Many people recommend picking a 'quit day'. This shouldn't be the perfect day to quit, just any day in your calendar, but make sure you stick to it. Then on this day don't even go near a cigarette or other smokers. Don't do any of the activities you normally associate with smoking. You have to break the habit or smoking and all the other little habits that go with it such as having a cup of coffee in the afternoon with a fag. Chuck out all your cigarettes and ashtrays. It's really important to remove all tobacco products from around you - don't keep any 'safety net' cigarettes lying around for emergencies. Also, tell your friends and family that you're quitting so that they won't offer you a cigarette and will understand your irritability!

You will probably need support when you quit - don't be afraid to ask for help from your friends and family or from health professionals. In fact, if you are really serious about quitting, you should visit your GP who will be able to give you plenty of advice and, if you need it, patches, gum and lozenges to help you cut out nicotine. Not everyone needs these substitutes, some people can go cold turkey and others need props or chemical substitutes - it doesn't matter how you quit, as long as you do it!

Some people find the problem with quitting lies in their hands. To solve this problem, you can buy inhalators that look like cigarette holders which you can suck on to release nicotine and satisfy your craving. Taking up exercise when you quit can be a good way to help. Exercising releases endorphins into your body which make you feel good and help your body to cope with withdrawal symptoms. It will also help your lungs increase their capacity - if you smoke before you exercise you will really feel it.

Above all, try to stay positive. It isn't easy to quit smoking but it definitely is possible. Have you quit and how did you do it? Or are you about to quit now? Leave a comment and share your experiences.