If you have tried quitting smoking before and failed, you might think it is an impossible challenge. However, there has never been a more important time to make better health choices, with the ongoing health pandemic and the early indications that smokers have an increased risk of respiratory infection.
Life expectancy for smokers is 10 years less than non-smokers but quitting smoking as early as possible can help to reverse this. Stopping smoking before the age of 40 actually reduces the risk of dying from a smoking-related disease by around 90%.
As well as affecting your health, smoking affects the people in your life, for example, children lose parents earlier and smokers are less likely to enjoy more active lifestyles with their families. Physical endurance is compromised in smokers because less oxygen is delivered to the heart and lungs.
What happens to your body when you quit?
- 1 day – The nicotine has left your body, mucus clears from the lungs.
- 1 week – Your breathing gets easier and your energy levels start to rise.
- 1 month – Exercising becomes easier due to improved circulation and oxygenation.
- 3 months – Fertility levels improve in women.
- 6 months – Cravings for cigarettes are a minimum, even in stressful situations.
- 1 year – Lung capacity is much improved and you are coughing less.
Even if you have failed with several attempts of quitting smoking, this could be the perfect time to succeed, with the added importance of improving your health right now. Here are some tips from people who have successfully kicked the habit:
Change your smoking routine
If there is a certain time or other part of your routine where you always smoke, change your routine around. If you always seem more prone to falter on your mission to quit in specific situations, such as after a few drinks or when you are with a certain person, try to avoid the trigger for at least a few weeks to give yourself a better chance.
Start a new hobby
Starting up a new interest or hobby will distract you from thinking about cigarettes. So, try and think of a hobby you can start that you will enjoy doing. Whether that is something active like taking up cycling or golf, rekindling a love of reading, or learning to play an instrument, choose a hobby that you will stay motivated to do.
Stay positive and motivated
Staying motivated to quit is difficult but it may help if you write down all of the positive improvements that quitting smoking will bring you and read the list whenever you think about having a cigarette. Even if you cave in and have one cigarette, don’t give up quitting, see it as one step back rather than being back at square one.
Use smoking alternatives
Different types of smoking alternatives work for different people. Nicotine patches, chewing gum and e-cigs work for some people but not all. Other alternatives include solutions such as AntiCig, which is an inhalable aromatherapy diffuser stick that helps people to stop smoking. The AntiCig device has no heating or burning mechanism and is completely smoke-free. The aromatherapy oils also help to get better quality sleep and helps with relaxation.