It’s the time of year when thoughts turn to chucking bad habits, such as smoking, and embracing a healthy new you. We know that quitting the ciggies isn’t easy, but get this: research shows that if you can stop smoking for 28 days, you have a good shot at staying smoke-free forever. So, let’s get started on your journey to a nicotine-free life…
The NHS-supported Smokefree app (free on iPhone and Android) is a four-week programme that gives supportive messages daily; a savings calculator (so you can see how much dosh binning those cigs has saved you); and helps you deal with cravings.
Science bods have found that people who use a combination of nicotine replacement therapies (NRT*) (a patch, plus, say, a short-acting product, like gum or a lozenge) are more likely to successfully quit than those just using a single form of NRT.
…because people who quit together stay off the ciggies together. That’s what a new study by the European Society of Cardiology has found. In their research, the ratio of those who quit smoking at the end of the 16-week programme were significantly higher in couples doing it together, compared with those who attempted it alone. The power of love, indeed!
According to Cancer Research UK, there are some simple strategies you can use to stamp out those urges. Next time you find yourself desperate to light up, go for a walk until it passes. If you’re not able to get out, then tensing and relaxing your muscles for a few minutes may work, or practising breathing exercises (try abdominal breathing – breathe in for around five seconds using your abdomen not your chest, hold it for a short time, then breathe out again really slowly).
The Boots Stop Smoking Online Clinic gives you access to prescription-only medicine to help you stop smoking – without the need to visit your GP. To apply, you need to be over 18, fill in an online form and a clinician will review it to see if it is a suitable treatment for you**. If so, then the medicine will be delivered to you (or you can collect in store for free). Good luck!