Health & wellbeing

6 secrets to help you stop smoking

Give up and beat the post-smoking food traps. Here’s how…

1. There’s evidence to show that joining a stop smoking group is highly effective in helping you stop for good. There are local NHS stop smoking services throughout the country, including both stop smoking groups and one-to-one support.

2. Try a nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). From lozenges and gum, to patches, microtabs and inhalers that deliver nicotine, NRT helps you overcome your nicotine cravings. None of the products contain any of the toxins found in tobacco, such as tar, and they are considered a safe way to stop smoking. NRT is available from high-street chemists or on prescription. Chewing gum can also help as it keeps your mouth ‘busy’.

3. Break the pattern of association. For example, if you always have a cigarette with an evening drink, change your routine. Wait until dinner to have a drink – you can’t smoke and eat at the same time!

4. Distract yourself. Find a hobby that occupies your hands, such as knitting, sewing, crochet or embroidery. Every time you are tempted to smoke or eat for the sake of it, drink a glass of water instead.

5. Put the money you would have spent on cigarettes in a ‘motivation’ jar and once you’ve successfully gone a month ‘smoke free’, use the money to treat yourself – but not with food! Have a manicure, get a blow dry, or go to the cinema.

6. If your partner smokes, try to give up together – it’s very difficult to stop with someone smoking around you.

Need more help? Visit www.nhs.uk/smokefree or consult your GP to see whether a prescription medicine is suitable for you.