The year seems to be flying by and as we move into October, attention turns towards stopping smoking and the Stoptober campaign. Quitting smoking is easier with the right support and I am happy to use my column to point you all in the appropriate direction.
If you want to stop, plan ahead and know when you’re more likely to be tempted to smoke. There’s a free Stoptober app you can download which can be a great help!
A good start is to identify when you crave cigarettes, as a craving is one of the toughest challenges of stopping smoking. If you do get a craving, why not remind yourself the combination of smoking and drinking alcohol increases your risk of mouth cancer by 38 times? It’s a startling but true statistic.
Keeping busy is also a good tactic as your mind will be occupied on the task in hand rather than thinking about wanting a cigarette. There are many potential hobbies you could take up such as walking, running or swimming. Speak to your friends and family about what you could do in your spare time!
Many people don’t realise their GP can help them quit smoking. Speak to your doctor and they can enroll you in a ‘stop smoking’ clinic. There’s lots available to help you quit, including patches, tablets, lozenges, gum and a nasal spray.
There are many health benefits to quitting smoking. It can lead to healthier looking skin by slowing facial ageing and delaying the appearance of wrinkles. Stress levels also tend to be lower after someone has stopped smoking.
If you’re struggling, why not make a list of reasons why you want to stop smoking? As well as a younger and healthier complexion, you can have whiter teeth, nicer smelling breath and a longer life expectancy. Finding something to motivate you to stop can be key.
Being smoke-free not only can add years to your life, but it also greatly improves your chances of a disease-free, mobile, happier old age.
If you think you need support, you can call the NHS Smokefree Helpline on 0300 123 1044 open Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm, and Saturday to Sunday from 11am to 4pm.
I urge you to make Stoptober the time you give up cigarettes for good. It is never too late to quit!