If you’re a smoker, it goes without saying that smoking is addictive.
But it’s never too late or too hard to quit—even if you’ve tried before.
We’re certainly not saying it’s easy to stop.
However, with a plan in place and the right support, you CAN quit smoking.
Statistics show that one in two people who keep smoking after middle age will die from smoking-related disease. Turfing the tobacco may be THE best thing you ever do for your health.
The benefits of quitting smoking include:
- Lengthening your lifespan and decreasing your risk of serious disease
- Reducing your risk of surgery-related respiratory and anaesthesia complications
- Feeling healthier and looking better
- Improving your sense of taste and smell
- Saving money (A 20-stick pack per day costs you around AUD 12,500 a year!)
Most smokers have tried to quit at least once.
Some people are successful the first time, but it usually takes a few goes before you give cigarettes away for good.
The key to success? Before you quit smoking—for the first time or for another time, you need to come up with an action plan that addresses WHY you smoke.
There are usually three elements at play here.
Number one is The Need. That’s your physical addiction to nicotine. Number two is The Want—your emotional or situational triggers, such as stress or alcohol. Number three is The Habit.
To quit permanently, your plan needs to tackle all these aspects.
This video shows why nicotine is so addictive.
Are you ready to develop a Stop Smoking plan?
This is what Quit Victoria recommends:
- Set a quit date
This can make you feel like you’re taking control, and it gives you time to prepare. Don’t worry if you don’t stop on your quit date. Just choose another time and have another go.
- Choose a quit method
Talk to your doctor about the best quitting method for you. Will you use a nicotine replacement therapy or quitting mediation to help you deal with cravings and withdrawal? There’s no better way, just the way that suits you best. Just remember, you don’t have to rely on willpower alone.
- Work out why you smoke
Why do you reach for a cigarette? Is it out of habit or boredom? Triggered by workplace stress? Hanging out with smoking friends? Jot down a few reasons so you can find strategies that address them, such as: staying busy, changing your environment, or losing yourself in a book.
- Be clear on why you want to quit
You’ll probably fight the urge to smoke for a while, so use your quit motivators to replace the addiction. For example, if you’re motivated by the health benefits of being a non-smoker, exercise or grab a healthy snack or a glass of water whenever you feel like a cigarette.
- Practice quitting
Quitting on the spot works for some, but most people find it harder to quit if they suddenly stop smoking. Taking a smoke-free day now and then and incorporating some of the above helps you prepare for your quit date.
- Don’t go it alone.
It’s easier to quit smoking for good if you feel supported. Inspiro offers a StopSmoking service to help you reach your goals. Your coach will work with you – face to face or over the phone – to help you through the stop-smoking process.
Have you made the decision to stop smoking?
Then you’re already half-way there.
When you don’t want to smoke, the amount of willpower needed to not smoke dramatically reduces.
Inspiro smoking cessation coach Vicki says, “Making the decision to quit smoking is a brave and rewarding first step. Keep trying to stop smoking, no matter how many goes it takes you. It WILL eventually stick. There is no such thing as a failure, just try again.”
Need a hand?
Receiving support is one of the surest ways to win the war against nicotine.
Reach out to us to find out more about Inspiro’s StopSmoking service.
We charge $20 total for as many sessions as you need.
We’ll help you agree on a quit date, provide strategies for managing smoking triggers and help you stay motivated to stay tobacco free.
You’ve got this!
About the author
Vicki Reddick is a registered nurse and midwife with a Bachelor of Advanced Nursing and a major in community health.
She studied Smoking Cessation under the Alfred Hospital’s Hospital Lung Foundation Unit and has been in practice for many years.
Sources: Quit Victoria