Stop smoking in 11 steps: it’s not impossible

There's never a bad time to make the step towards quitting smoking. The benefits you can gain are endless, and the long-term implications of keeping up this habit should be enough to swap you into creating a positive change. However, we understand that kicking this kind of addiction isn't easy; no matter how hard you try. So in this post, we're covering some ways you can adopt an effective strategy towards quitting smoking once and for all.

Top tips for kicking your smoking habit

If you’re thinking about diving headfirst into removing smoking from your life, there are some ways to do it proactively. Remember that what works for you may be different from the strategies used by others, so keep this in mind as you progress through each step. That being said, here are some tips you can action to put you on the right track.

1. Remind yourself why you’re quitting by writing it down

    Make a list of all the reasons why you want to quit smoking. Try hand-writing these out so that you can really absorb it in your mind as you put the words on paper. Now carry this with you as much as you can – put it in your pocket, bag or pop it on your desk as you work. Sometimes you just need a reminder of why you’re taking certain paths in your life.

    2. Find the perfect fit for you

      Like we said before, not every strategy has the same effect on everyone. Make sure that you experiment with different ways to quit smoking, and see what kind of result comes from it. IF one way doesn't work well for you, try another. For example, going cold turkey might work brilliantly for you, or it might not be the best route to take. Try your hand at a few and see which ones lessen how many cigarettes you consume a day.

      3. Try nicotine replacement therapy

      Use nicotine patches, chewing gum, inhalers or even CBD oil to help you combat your cravings. These are especially appropriate for those who have typically been heavy smokers throughout their lives. Some are available over the counter, but you might need a prescription for other options, so make sure you seek advice from your doctor to get the most support you can.

      Additionally, there are some oral prescription medications you can take to help that can reduce withdrawals and help you quit effectively.

      4. Give yourself a deadline

      Try to set a date you want to quit by and stick to it. Giving yourself boundaries and deadlines gives you a structure and a goal to aim for. Sometimes this is all you need to keep focused and on track.

      5. Lean on your friends and family

      Quitting smoking isn't easy, so we recommend using your inner circles as a support system. This means using them as motivation, asking them to encourage you or just to be the ear when you need them. Let them know you are planning to kick the habit, and if there's someone who can take this plunge with you, then that's even better.

      6. Think about your calendar and plan ahead

      There will no doubt be times where you’ll attend a party or social situation that triggers the urge to light up a cigarette. When you know these dates are on the calendar, try to avoid them early on in the process. Otherwise, replace this habit with something else – for example, if you like to hold something in your hand while you talk to someone over a coffee, give yourself something to hold instead of a cigarette. This might just be enough to avoid the temptation.

      7. Clean out your home and workspace of all cigarettes

      If they aren’t insight, you’re less likely to light up, especially when they’re not accessible. Go the extra mile by cleaning your clothes and removing any scent of smoke. This will remove the trigger that can sway your senses onto the “bad side”. If you know you have a pack of cigarettes in your drawer at work, throw them out, and do the same for your home environment.

      8. Use the method of ‘4 Ds’ to combat cravings

      Whenever a craving starts to rise, use these the 4 Ds to stop it in its tracks:

      • Delay:  Cravings only last for a few minutes. It will lessen the longer you have stayed away from cigarettes.
      • Deep breathing:  Focus your mind by relaxing and emphasising each breath you take. This keeps you in the present and aware of your thinking.
      • Drink more water:  Your skin and body will love you for it, and it will flush any nicotine out.
      • Get active:  Keep your mind and body active by heading out for daily exercise or by trying something new. Engage in hobbies, crafts or socialising – anything to take your mind off what you’re trying to do
            9. When you’re losing motivation, think of the benefits

              Get that original list out and think about all the wonderful things you’re doing for your health and wallet. Quitting smoking presents so many medical benefits that it would be hard to list them all here. Beyond that, you’re allowing for better financial stability and opting for more control over what you’re spending on things that don’t better your lifestyle.

              By the end of the year, maybe you’ll be able to take a hard-earned holiday with all the cash you saved by not buying cigarettes.

              10. Use resources at your disposal

              The great thing about the internet is that there are so many ways you can access support around these kinds of things depending on where you are located, your specific country will have a number of hotlines you can call for assistance. This professional help will initiate positive habits and act as an ear when you need it most.

              Plus, there’s also plenty of fact sheets and information available online, simply by exploring Google’s nifty results.

              11. Explore CBD oil and other solutions

              CBD oil can help to reduce the desire to light a cigarette. While studies are still in their infancy around this, there have been indications that it can reduce addictive associations. However, if you’re not sure if this product is right for you, we always recommend speaking to your GP for more advice.

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