So you’ve decided to quit smoking. Congratulations! But before you go head first into stopping cold turkey please read our stop smoking checklist. It is put together by professional stop smoking experts to help give you the best chance of stopping and staying stopped.
1) Sit down and work out why you want to quit.
This could be money, health or simply because you don’t want to smell of smoke. Whatever your reason to smoke you must write it down and remember it. Simply saying “I want to stop because I don’t want to smoke” isn’t enough. Find a specific reason you want to stop and write it down. It helps to remember why you are no longer a smoker when the urge to light up grabs you.
2) Set a date to quit and stick to it!
With quitting smoking or anything it is easy to say “I’ll do it tomorrow”. Studying, tidying the kitchen, getting in touch with old friends – we are all guilty of putting things off. Smoker’s procrastination is why millions of people who want to stop simply put it off until days become weeks which become months then years.
Choosing a stop date sets it in stone. For a smoker, smoking is awesome – let’s not kid ourselves here. That’s why it is so tempting to light up and decide to quit tomorrow, or opt for the “I am going to cut down first” method.
These ‘methods’ are only tricking you into staying in a perpetual loop of addiction.
Setting a date on which you will quit strengthens you psychologically and alerts your mind that (as obvious as it sounds) that this is the day that you will quit! If you smoke after this date you have failed, contrast this to the “I’ll try again tomorrow as I didn’t give it 100% this time around” mentality.
3) Find out why you smoke.
You will smoke because of habit. But what triggers this habit? Is it something you do with a drink in your hand, is it how you naturally break up your work day or is it something you simply do to escape a room or awkward situation?
Knowing why you smoke helps you to identify your cravings before they manifest themselves into lit cigarettes.
Smoking is so addictive as we associate smoking with our triggers. For example, many people may think the following:
- “If I didn’t have cigarettes I wouldn’t be able to properly relax with friends at the pub”
- “If I didn’t have cigarettes I would be glued to my desk all day and wouldn’t get the time away to clear my head”
- “If I didn’t have cigarettes I would have had no way to escape that awkward situation”
This is how the validation of smoking occurs in your mind – “if I don’t have cigarettes bad things will happen”. Discovering the deep reasons behind why you smoke can help show you how silly the association is, making it easier to break.
4) Choose a combination of NPT and Therapy to get you through.
“I stopped cold turkey,” said that one annoying friend who always seems to be able to do everything better than everyone else.
For the rest of us quitting smoking is hard. There is no way around that fact that for those first few weeks without the smokes life sucks! This is where nicotine replacement therapy (NPT) and therapies such as the Anne Penman Stop Smoking Laser Therapy Programme come into play.
Try various therapies and stop smoking techniques. Some methods to quit smoking are:
- Laser therapy
- Nicotine Patches
- Nicotine inhalers
The last two are a bit funny though as some would argue that you are just swapping one evil for another. However, if it helps you kick the smokes give it a go!
Laser therapy is one of the only nicotine-free ways to quit smoking.
5) Get rid of smoking-related items.
Got a favourite lighter? Keep it hidden away at the back of a drawer for lighting candles or for whenever the hob fails to light.
Everything else associated with smoking – bin it!
This includes; ashtrays, cheap lighters, cigarette papers, etc.
It also helps to clean everything to get rid of the smoke. This includes clothes, curtains, bedding, carpets, cars, etc. With all that money you are saving why not treat yourself to a lovely car valet?
6) Get help!
Some people can stop solo, others like to stop in groups. The NHS provides fantastic stop smoking groups – read more here.
7) Shift Your Mindset
One of the biggest things you have to consider when stopping smoking is that as soon as you smoke your last cigarette, you are no longer a smoker. Not a year or a week after your last cigarette, but as soon as you stub that last cigarette out and exhale the smoke you have smoked your last cigarette and are no longer a smoker.
Thinking this way is quite liberating. A lot of smokers return to the cigarettes as they identify themselves as a smoker who cannot smoke rather than a non-smoker who does not want to smoke.
Changing your perception of smoking in this way is a powerful way to re-programme your brain to not expect or crave cigarettes.
Keeping off the Cigarettes
Stopping smoking is hard work but also very rewarding. There are so many reasons to quit smoking but you have to want to quit first and foremost. Anne Penman Laser Therapy is here to help you through your journey towards a smoke-free life. Get in touch today to see how we can help you stop and stay stopped.