An estimated 19 per cent of UK adults smoke, according to Cancer Research UK. Smoking causes around 80 per cent of deaths from lung cancer, around 80 per cent of deaths from bronchitis and emphysema, and about 14 per cent of deaths from heart disease, according to Action on Smoking and Health. Even though it may be a challenge, it is possible to quit.
In fact, as an incentive to quit, a Japanese marketing firm recently offered six extra days of holiday to non-smoking employees. While not every employer is able to offer extra holiday pay, it is nevertheless wise to quit, as the benefits will last long past your next holiday.
- Whether you have tried to quit in the past or have yet to try, here are five tips from the NHS to help you:
- Make a plan. Quitting is not as simple as just making the decision. You need to have a plan in place to help you achieve that goal. Often, a quit plan includes what steps a person will take to quit along with a tentative timeline. This can be difficult to put together on your own, so reach out to Smokefree NHS to help you begin this process.
- Keep active. By staying active, you can keep your mind off smoking and distract yourself from cravings. Exercise is a common activity that many people adopt when they try to quit smoking. Exercise can also help alleviate depression and anxiety, which may be a cause for your smoking.
- Avoid your smoking triggers. Triggers are unique to each smoker and can be people, places, things and situations. To help you quit and reduce the likelihood of relapsing, avoid all of your triggers. This may mean avoiding activities and groups that you used to enjoy until you’re able to quit.
- Stay positive. Quitting smoking is a difficult goal to achieve, and it won’t happen overnight. Take each day as it comes and remain positive. With persistence and support, you can achieve your goal.
- Ask for help. Even though the responsibility of quitting is set squarely on your shoulders, you never have to go through your quit plan alone. Reach out to family and friends to help you stay smoke-free. In addition, you can reach out to free stop smoking help lines for expert support. Click here to find your local stop smoking service.
This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. Readers should contact a health professional for appropriate advice.