Alter your habits
Smoking is not only an addiction but also a bad habit established over time— whether or not it’s having a puff after a meal, while having coffee, or even having a cigarette between your finger. However, with effort and determination, you can adopt new habits to replace the old one
- If you miss holding your cigarettes in your hands, play with something else like a pencil, paper clip, coin or toothpick.
- If you usually smoke after meals, brush your teeth.
- If you miss having a cigarette with your coffee, have a sugar-free mint instead.
- Take up a hobby or learn a new skill such as playing a musical instrument.
You’ve already crossed the first hurdle by embarking on a quit journey. There may be other challenges to overcome during your quit journey like cravings and withdrawal symptoms but if you put your heart and soul into it, you will succeed. Don’t underestimate your ability to overcome temptations.
Remember that every smoke-free day makes you stronger so don’t give up!
Connect with your loved ones
The support of your family and friends can do wonders.
You will be able to count on them to provide moral support and the much-needed encouragement to help you through what may be an agonizing quit journey. They not only provide you with physical support (distracting you from your urge to grab a cigarette!) but also mental support (motivation and encouragement).
Educate yourself with facts
If stress is one of your reasons for smoking, get this—smoking does not relieve stress!
Fact is, it is the addictive chemical called nicotine that enhances your desire for a cigarette when you are stressed out. In-between cigarettes, the nicotine level in the body drops, leading to increased sensations of stress and irritability.
Smoking is one of the many negative ways of coping with stress. To manage stress positively, take up a new hobby or learn a new skill. Fun activities are a welcome break from the daily demands you face at work and at home and can effectively distract you from wanting to light up!
The benefits of quitting smoking are almost immediate. You will be able to perform better in many physical activities, improve your sense of taste and also find yourself feeling refreshed as energy levels continue to rise.
You can also be proud of yourself for achieving control over your life again, rather than letting cigarettes control you.
That’s not all! Think about all the money you can save from not buying cigarettes and how you can spend that money — buying new clothes, presents for your loved ones and so on.
Positive thinking equates positive results! So, don’t cave in to temptations!
Get your beauty sleep
If you experience fatigue because of lack of sleep, you may resort to cigarettes to stay up the following day! So make sure you have sufficient beauty sleep to avoid lighting up!
Also, stressful situations may seem more difficult to solve when you feel tired so ensure that you are well rested to feel more equipped to handle challenging situations!
Hit the gym
Besides being an effective way of keeping any weight gain at bay, regular exercise is also a healthier alternative to smoking.
Exercise can also be effective as a distraction. If you find that you light up in the evenings to “unwind” after a long day, replace that with a regular gym routine instead.
Identify your triggers
A crucial step towards quitting is to throw your old smoking lifestyle out the window – so chuck out your cigarettes (including your hidden emergency stash), lighters, cigarette holders and ashtrays.
Recognising your temptations and taking positive steps to eliminate them will bring you one step closer to your goal.
Avoid situations, people and places which tempt you to smoke. Choose a non-smoking environment to wind down after a long day or to chat with your friends. There are many funky smoke-free restaurants around.
Join the fight to beat the cravings
Occasionally, you might be tempted to “give yourself a treat” and it doesn’t help if your friends are all lighting up around you.
Also, cut down on your caffeine intake so that you can avoid symptoms of a caffeine overdose such as irritability, tension and nervousness, which can trigger smoking withdrawal symptoms.
Quitting smoking does not happen overnight so don’t expect results immediately. Be patient with yourself. Remembering your own reasons for quitting can make it an easier journey.
Learn from setbacks
Setting realistic goals can motivate you to move forward but don’t be discouraged if you fail to quit on your first, second or even third attempt. Many smokers would have tried several times and various methods and strategies before they are able to successfully quit smoking. So, don’t give up!
Where to Get Help
Guardian Quit Centre
Guardian’s Shop and Step In Programme is a user-friendly service that offers free quit smoking advice and guidance by a Guardian pharmacist who will help you customize a quit plan that is tailored to your needs.
Guardian Quit Centres are located at 18 outlets, at major shopping malls and residential estates. They operate from Mondays to Sundays, 10.00am – 10.00pm. For list of Guardian Quit Centres, go to http://www.getfresh.com.sg/shop_and_step_in.html
For more support and motivation, log on to www.getfresh.com.sg to join the Fresh Air for Women (FAFW) network of friends. You will also find many helpful quit smoking tips.
Youth Advolution for Health (YAH)
Run by youths for their peers, YAH aims to encourage youths to lead a healthy lifestyle. Log on to www.yah.sg to share or learn about tips on quitting smoking.
Quit 4 Life!
If you ever feel like you need more help, feel free to check out the website http://www.hpb.gov.sg/hpb/default.asp?pg_id=1818 for information on quit techniques.