Five top tips to quit smoking this World No Tobacco Day (31 May 2016)

New figures show that 13.5 per cent of people in NSW still smoke daily but the number of smokers in Far West Local Health District is decreasing.

“In FWLHD we are seeing a decrease in smoking over the last 5 years which is very pleasing.  With World No Tobacco Day approaching on 31 May, many may be thinking of quitting,” said Lyndal O’Leary, Manager Health Promotion, Far West LHD.

Rebecca Crawford, Health Promotion Officer said: “Quitting smoking is by far the best thing you can do for your health. It can reduce your risk of many smoking related diseases, improve your general wellbeing and that of your family and save you money.”

While quitting can be hard, there is support to help you on the way. The NSW Quitline offers access to specially trained advisors who can assist smokers with preparing to quit, avoiding slip-ups and staying quit.

This World No Tobacco Day, the NSW Quitline is sharing some top quit tips.

1. Set a quit date.
For many smokers, setting a quit date helps to get things moving. World No Tobacco Day on 31 May provides a great opportunity for many smokers to quit together.

The day before your quit day, find and throw out all cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays in your house, car and workplace.

2. Think about your triggers and change routines and habits.
Think about when and where you like to smoke. Do you like to smoke when drinking coffee or alcohol or after meals? Do you like to smoke socially with family or friends at home or when eating out? Then plan to temporarily change your habits accordingly. In the early days, avoid situations where you used to smoke.

3. Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake
When cutting down or quitting smoking caffeine can have a stronger effect. Higher caffeine levels can make you feel more restless, increase anxiety or make sleeping difficult. The effects of higher caffeine levels can be confused with tobacco withdrawal symptoms. Plan to halve the amount of caffeine (coffee, tea, energy drinks and cola) that you drink.

Drinking alcohol can make quitting harder and can make you forget your reasons for wanting to quit. Having a drink with friends may trigger your cravings. Instead of meeting for drinks, suggest something else, for example, going to the movies, going for a walk or doing some exercise

4. Organise a quit support team
Decide who you will ask to give you support. Do you have friends, family and work mates who might encourage and support you? Ask them not to smoke around you and not to give you cigarettes even if you ask for them. Make your home a smoke free environment.

You could also try getting a friend or group of friends to quit with you and support each other on your quit journey. Join the online community and learn from others quit stories and experiences.

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about products and strategies to help you quit. Using nicotine replacement therapy like patches and gums can help deal with cravings and withdrawal symptoms and can increase chances of quitting successfully.

5. Plan some rewards
A pack a day smoker will save around $6,400 a year if they don’t smoke. Think of how you can use the money you save. Plan short term rewards, such as movie tickets, new clothes or a new phone and long term rewards such as a holiday or even towards a deposit for a car or house. Celebrate your success.

Call the Quitline on 13 7848 for support and encouragement before and during your quit attempt.

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