How do I give up smoking?

There is no miracle solution for stopping smoking; it takes a great deal of determination and willpower. Initially, it will be really difficult to stop; however, after a while you’ll get used to it and your body will start to feel healthier. There are lots of different ways to stop smoking but the most important thing to do is to try and discover why you smoke; many people just smoke occasionally when they’re out with friends, while others may do it as a form of relaxation and some people do it out of habit because they’ve been smoking for so long they don’t really know any different.

Giving up social smoking

Social smoking is probably the easiest to give up, especially now the law states that you can’t smoke inside public buildings. If you’re still struggling to give up, try to avoid the group of friends you usually smoke with until you feel strong enough to resist the temptation of smoking. Try to get your friends involved as well and reward yourself for not smoking; put the money you’ve saved towards something else that you want, like a piece of clothing or a DVD, for example.

Finding other ways to relax

Many people find that smoking helps them to relax; however, in the long-term, smoking is extremely dangerous and potentially fatal so it should not be considered as a solution to stress. Experts recommend taking up a new sport, joining a gym, having a massage or spending more time with friends to reduce stress and increase relaxation.

Join a group

Research has consistently shown that people who join groups to stop smoking are more successful than those that try to go it alone. Joining a group means you can chat with people in a similar situation to your own, make new friends and get through tricky times together; the other members of the group know what you’re going through and it is much easier to confront things as a unit, rather than as an individual. The NHS runs a series of local stop smoking groups that are free to join and offer a wealth of support and practical tips.

Change your routine

Some people smoke out of boredom but this can be a very harmful use of your time. Instead try spending time with family and friends, take up a new hobby, join a gym or do something you’ve always wanted to do. If you smoke as part of a routine, change it; this is particularly common if you are part of a group at work, for example, that all take a cigarette break at the same time.

Remind yourself of why you’re giving up

Keep telling yourself why you’re giving up smoking and check your body’s progress by using the NHS timeline; you’re making really positive changes to your body and mind so you should be really proud of yourself.


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