PHA Northern Ireland issued these in time for New Year Resolutions….
1. Set a specific date on which you want to stop smoking and stick to it. Let people know so they can support you in your quit attempt. Try to encourage a group of your friends or family to stop with you and support one another.
2. To get started, it is really useful to have a careful look at what you do at the moment. Review your smoking habit and change your routine to avoid situations when you usually smoke, eg if you smoke having a cup of coffee, try tea instead. If you smoke first thing in the morning, take a shower instead or if you smoke when you are on the phone hold a pencil and doodle. If you smoke on your way to work, take a slightly different route to help change your routine.
3. In the first few days after quitting, drink lots of water and fluids to help flush out the nicotine and other poisons from your body. Try to avoid alcohol and coffee, as these tend to increase the desire for a cigarette.
4. Don’t fall into the trap of having ‘just one’ cigarette. Be on your guard against temptation – one cigarette can easily lead to another.
5. Instead of smoking find an alternative for something to do with your hands.
6. When you feel like smoking a cigarette, try texting or ringing a friend – it will help the craving to pass and take your mind off it.
7. Avoid eating high-energy, high-sugar snack foods in place of cigarettes; try fresh fruit, a low-fat yogurt or sugar-free gum instead.
8. Avoid skipping meals or eating sweets as both cause a rapid rise and fall in blood sugar levels which make cravings worse.
9. Keep active. Walk more; go for a swim or a cycle; dance to music at home; do some vacuuming; gardening; or, wash the car. Any physical activity produces chemicals in the body which make people feel better. Physical activity has been shown to help quit attempts and will help to reduce weight gain.
10. Put the money you are saving on cigarettes away so that you can buy something you really want. It can help motivate you when things are tough. Quitting a 20-a-day habit will deliver an average £3,420 a year saving.
There has never been a better time to quit smoking.