Smoking – we all know it’s a bad habit to get into and once you’re hooked it’s an incredibly difficult habit to get out of. But get out of it you should - according to a December 2018 report issued by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in Australia and the leading cause of cancer (they’re not called cancer sticks for nothing!). And it gets worse – Quit Now tells us that smoking causes 82% of emphysema and chronic bronchitis among males and 76% among females. Damage from emphysema is not reversible.
Second-hand smoke is even worse. When you smoke, other people who inhale it can be affected more than the smoker themselves. OK so this probably isn’t news to you – most smokers are aware of the potential health issues to themselves and those around them when they choose to smoke. Tobacco cravings can be very powerful, and we know that it’s hard to give up. But if you’re planning to quit smoking for good and lead a healthy life again, here are some helpful tips that will help you to resist those cravings.
Create a quit plan
There is no easy way to quit smoking, but it helps if you plan for it. Create a quit plan or seek professional help if you don’t know what program will work for you. Be honest about what your needs are. Once you have a structured plan, make sure to follow it strictly.
Nicotine replacement treatment
There are plenty of options for nicotine replacement such as nasal sprays or inhalers, nicotine patches, gums, and lozenges. There are also quit-smoking medications available. Any of these can help you resist those tobacco cravings. Nasal sprays or inhalers can be combined with the use of nicotine patches or non-nicotine medications for stronger effects. Of course, you should always consult your doctor first.
Electronic cigarettes also seem to be catching a lot of attention these days as another alternative to traditional smoking - but further studies still need to be completed in order to prove that these are an effective way to quit smoking for good.
Most of the time, the urge to smoke happens in situations and places that you usually associate with having a quick smoke, such as when you’re drinking, having a cup of coffee or stressed. Seeing other people smoking can also trigger your cravings, as can being in a low emotional state. Try to stay away from people, places and habits where you know you’ll feel the urge to smoke. Avoid caffeine as it can make you feel jittery. Rest well and have a healthy diet as tiredness can also trigger the desire to smoke. If you haven’t done so yet, throw away your cigarettes, lighters, and ashtrays.
Stop saying “just one more”!
If you’ve tried quitting before you’re probably guilty of this one. When you make the commitment to quit smoking for good, there is no “just one more”! Yes, the temptation to have a taste of tobacco again will be strong but don’t be fooled into thinking that you can quit smoking again after you’ve had just one more cigarette. It will never be the last. One stick will lead to another one and then another one and before you know it, you’re back to smoking again. So, the next time you hear yourself saying “just one more”, don’t give in.
Exercise and other physical activities can bring you heaps of health benefits and any physical activity that you do will distract you from tobacco cravings. Take a short walk or run up and down the stairs whenever you feel like smoking. How about spending your workplace coffee break doing some bending and squatting instead of dragging on a ciggie while sipping coffee? Or if you’re at home, try doing some housework instead of giving in to the urge to smoke.
Call a friend
When your quest to quit becomes just too difficult (and it will!), call for reinforcements. Talk to friends, family or even support groups who can help you alleviate your cravings. Have a good chat over the phone, go for a stroll together, or have dinner with the people who support you. Whatever you do, your friends and support networks are there to help you accomplish your goal - that is, to quit smoking for good.
The final word
Quitting smoking for good is never going to be easy. You need careful planning and a real commitment to shake off this vice but if you want to stop, there’s no time like the present. Remember, your health (and the health of your loved ones) depends on it, and if you’re stricken by a smoking-related illness, the road to recovery will undoubtedly be expensive - so don’t wait for it to happen to you. Stop smoking now and head to the doctor for an overall check-up and some tools to help you quit.
Giving up the ciggies will put more money in your pocket each week for other things. So, once you've quit, why not reward yourself with a relaxing holiday! If you need some financial assistance to help get you there, just check out our fast loans from $1,000 to $5,000 to find out how quick and easy it is to get your hands on some extra funds. Once a loan is approved, we can usually deposit the cash into your bank account within a few hours - so you can start planning your new smoke-free life today!