Last week on 12 March it was National No Smoking Day, a day dedicated to help smokers quit their addiction for good. Since the campaign was introduced in 1983 the proportion of smokers in the UK has dropped from one third to one fifth. Despite this impressive decline, there are still around 10 million smokers in the country, and 100,000 of them die every year from their addiction.
The implications of smoking on health are widely known and include increased risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, blood clots and premature ageing – not to mention bad breath, gum disease and a rapidly emptying bank balance.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) organise No Smoking Day and believe that there are two factors that are essential for successful cessation:
- that you are ready for the change
- that you realise you needn’t do it alone.
There are several different routes you can take to quit smoking including medication and nicotine replacement therapies. The key is finding out what works best for you and not giving up at the first hurdle.
The BHF have the following hints for those looking to quit smoking:
- Make a note of your personal reasons for quitting and keep it somewhere you will see it every day.
- Set yourself a date to quit. Having a clear plan of action will help you devise strategies for the day.
- Tell your friends and family. Making the commitment out loud will make it more real, while the support of those around you will be invaluable.
- Visit your NHS Stop Smoking Service for further help.
- Plan in advance how you will cope with the temptations to smoke. Make a note of your triggers and have an action plan for trigger scenarios.
- Keep a log of how much money you’re saving to keep you motivated.
For some people, hypnotherapy can prove helpful when quitting. To find out more, please see our hypnotherapy to quit smoking page.
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