As anyone who has successfully quit smoking knows, it can be an incredibly challenging experience, and success is often reliant on resolve and willpower, help from a variety of quitting tools and support from other people.
With Stoptober just well on it’s way, there’s no better time to kick the habit.
You are five times more likely to stay smoke free if you can stop for 28 days, and this year’s Stoptober – the nation’s biggest mass 28 day quit attempt – will help you stop smoking with personal and supportive messages from some of the country’s best known comedians: Al Murray, Bill Bailey, Rhod Gilbert and Shappi Khorsandi.
It’s not too late to join the big quit this October, search Stoptober and sign up today to receive free and proven support by email, text and through the mobile phone app. Don’t stop there though, to ensure the best chance of making it 28 days smoke free, why not get prepared by following my five simple tips below.
- The quit list
Begin by writing out a list of reasons why you want to quit smoking, for example, think about how much money you’ll save or the ways your health will benefit. The list will not only reinforce your decision to stop smoking for Stoptober, you’ll also find it a handy tool to refer to on those difficult days when you feel your cravings are close to getting the better of you.
- In the bin!
To help you stay strong and resist temptation during your days without smoking, throw away any last cigarettes, lighters or anything that reminds you of being a smoker. You can then make a clean smoke free start with no temptation.
- Loyal supporters
Quitting smoking is less difficult when you’re surrounded by people to support you. In fact research shows that you are two thirds (67%) more likely to quit when your spouse stops smoking, and a third more likely to quit when a close friend (36%) or someone you work with stops (34%).[i] So sign up to Stoptober with your social circle to boost your chances of quitting.
- Expert advice
As well as support from the thousands of others that are going smoke free for 28 days, Stoptober emails, text messages and the mobile phone app are filled with tips and encouragement to keep you going, all of which have been proven to help people stop smoking. In addition, free professional advice is on hand for everyone. Your local Stop Smoking Service can give you tailored advice and tips on how to quit. To find your nearest local Stop Smoking Service, search ‘Stoptober’ now.
- Break your routines and be honest with yourself
For many people, smoking is a ritual that is often associated with certain times in their daily routine so it’s a good idea to prepare yourself for some of the triggers that make you feel like having a cigarette.
Indeed, breaking the routine can help you break the habit, for example, if you used to have a cigarette with your morning coffee, try drinking tea instead. Or, if you take a cigarette break with a friend, why not go for a smoke free walk?
It is important to be honest with yourself and know what your smoking triggers are so you can prepare to deal with them. By writing them out and identifying ways around them for the first week or so, you will stand a better chance of remaining smoke free.
To keep you motivated, remember that cravings and temptations to smoke, whilst intense, don’t last long – just a few minutes – and whether that’s some common sense from Al Murray, the Pub Landlord, some tough talking love from Rhod Gilbert, comforting words from Shappi Khorsandi or a distracting joke from Bill Bailey, our Stoptober comedians, along with lots of other support is available if you sign up today.
What happens when you stop smoking?
Once you’ve stubbed out for Stoptober your health will quickly start to benefit. These are just some of the improvements you will experience throughout the 28 days and beyond:
- After 20 minutes – Blood pressure and pulse rate return to normal
- After 8 hours – Nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in blood reduce by half and oxygen levels return to normal
- After 48 hours – Carbon monoxide will be eliminated from the body. Lungs start to clear out mucus and other smoking debris. There is no nicotine in the body. Ability to taste and smell is greatly improved
- After 72 hours – Breathing becomes easier. Bronchial tubes begin to relax and energy levels increase
- After 2 to 12 weeks – Your circulation improves
- After 3 to 9 months – Coughs, wheezing and breathing problems improve as lung function increases by up to 10%
- After 5 years – Risk of heart attacks falls to about half compared with a person who is still smoking
- After 10 years – Risk of lung cancer falls to half that of a smoker. Risk of heart attack falls to the same as someone who has never smoked
To sign up to the nation’s biggest mass quit attempt, search Stoptober online or visit www.smokefree.nhs.uk/stoptober