Over half of all smokers in NSW said they intended to quit smoking at New Year’s Eve – here are five tips to help make it happen in 2017.
Data from the Cancer Institute Tobacco Tracking Survey show 52.1 per cent of smokers were intending to quit smoking this time last year, coinciding with the New Year.
Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do to reduce your risk of cancer in 2017 – quitting smoking at any time will improve your health.
Everyone will find their own best way to quit smoking, but here are five things that can help as you embark on making a really positive change:
1. Set a quit date
This can be a great way of getting serious about quitting smoking. For many smokers, setting a quit date helps get things moving.
It could be something significant, like January 1, or it could be any random date – it’s about picking a time that works for you to stop smoking and start your quit journey.
The day before your quit day, it’s a good idea to find and throw out all of your cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays in the house, car and workplace.
For other people, quitting spontaneously can work the best, and that’s great too! Just find what’s right for you.
2. Think about your triggers, and change routines and habits
Try avoiding situations you often associate with smoking.
Have you often smoked when drinking coffee or alcohol, or after meals? Have you smoked socially with family or friends at home or when eating out?
In the early days, it can be helpful to change your habits and avoid situations like these where you used to smoke.
Of course this won’t always be practical, but there are more tips for rearranging your routine.
3. Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake
For lots of people, drugs like alcohol and caffeine can trigger the craving to have a cigarette.
When cutting down or quitting smoking, caffeine can have a stronger effect, and the daily habit can often be associated with smoking.
Rather than stopping completely, try changing your routine and halving the amount of caffeine (coffee, tea, energy drinks and cola) that you drink.
Drinking alcohol can make quitting harder too because of the social interactions it can be involved in, and these can trigger cigarette cravings.
Instead of meeting for drinks, try suggesting something else, for example going to the movies, going for a walk or doing some exercise.
4. Organise a quit support team
Find people to support you on your quit journey.
Who will you ask to give you support? Friends, family and workmates can all be a great help in encouraging and supporting you.
You might ask them not to smoke around you and not to give you cigarettes, even if you ask for them.
You could also try getting a friend or group of friends to quit with you and support each other on your quit journey.
Your doctor or pharmacist can also help with products and strategies to help you quit, including using nicotine replacement therapy like patches and gums to help deal with cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
5. Plan some rewards
A pack a day smoker will save around $6,400 a year if they don’t smoke – how are you going to use the money you save?
Try planning short term rewards such as movie tickets, new clothes or a new phone, and long term rewards like a holiday or even a deposit for a car or house.
Celebrate your success!
For more information and support you can visit iCanQuit.com.au or call Quitline on 13 78 48.