This Wednesday (14th March 2012) is No Smoking Day in the UK, so here are my top tips for no Smoking Day. If you have decided to quit smoking on No Smoking Day this year, then these tips may give you a better chance of success.
My first tip is: “Don’t cut down – cut it out!”. If you have decided to quit on No Smoking Day, then stop completely! By that I mean that you should stop smoking completely rather than try to gradually reduce the amount you smoke. I think that cutting down is less effective than stopping altogether. Most people who cut down on their cigarettes soon find the number they smoke in a day creeping up. So, set No Smoking Day as your date for stopping, and on that date STOP!
My next tip for No Smoking Day will help with your motivation. Write a list of all the reasons you want to quit. Once you’ve written you list, place it somewhere visible so that you can see it regularly, and be reminded regularly of all the reasons you have to stop smoking.
My third tip for No Smoking Day is to remove all tobacco and everything else associated with your smoking habit. Destroy all remaining tobacco products in your house and also remove all ashtrays, lighters, and any other items connected with your smoking habit. On my website I suggest that you could even perform a ritual so that you make a special event of clearing out all your smoking gear. On my website I also suggest that you wash all your clothes and do a thorough clean of your house to remove as much of the tobacco smell as possible. Your aim should be to remove tobacco and every reminder of tobacco from your house. You could also avoid triggers – avoid the situations when you would normally smoke.
My next piece of advice is that you should tell everyone that you are quitting. People can support you if they know you have stopped smoking – and other smokers will know not to offer you tobacco! You could also set ‘targets’ for yourself (e.g. no cigarettes for 1 month) and let people know so that they can help reinforce your commitment by reminding you how well you are doing. You could help your commitment even further by rewarding yourself when you achieve your targets, which will help reinforce the positive feelings you have when you quit smoking.
If you know someone else who is quitting on No Smoking Day then you can create a ‘quitting partnership’ – quit together and support one another.
Here are a few more tips. Get some exercise! You don’t have to run miles – a little walking will help.Substitute something for your tobacco habit: deep breathing; chewing gum. (Do not eat sweets as your substitute!) Find new ways to relax: try meditation; or learn self hypnosis!
My final tip is to get professional help! It’s not easy to quit smoking (the success rate for those who go ‘cold turkey’ is only between 4% and 10%), so get help! My preference is hypnosis (all the data shows that hypnotherapy is the most effective way to stop smoking), and you can do this either directly with a hypnotherapist, or by purchasing a ‘Quit smoking CD’
However you decide to stop smoking on No Smoking Day – don’t give up! All the negative aspects of smoking cessation pass very quickly, leaving you to enjoy the rest of your life free from tobacco.
What helps you quit smoking? Do you have any successful experience to share with us? Or as a therapist, how can you help your clients quit smoking? Do share your tips and stories with us below.