1. Be clear on your motives for stopping smoking
Only if you have a genuine desire to give up smoking for yourself will you be successful at staying smoke free
2. Gain support from family and friends
Quitting smoking is not easy which is why you need the strength and emotional support from family and friends to encourage you and praise your achievements. The more people that know you are trying to quit, the easier it will be.
3. Seek advice
There are lots of advice and support groups available which may help you with the quitting process. It is also important to speak to healthcare professionals who will be able to give you advice and support.
4. Withdraw slowly
Going cold turkey without nicotine can be very difficult, so stop smoking and slowly reduce your dependency on nicotine with nicotine replacements such as patches or gum. These are available at pharmacies and may also be available to you on prescription from the doctors.
A large part of smoking is related to the habitual process of placing the hand towards the mouth. It can therefore be important to many to use plastic cigarettes to allow the associated hand to mouth behaviour to continue but without taking in any of the harmful substances contained in cigarettes.
Try relaxation techniques when cravings strike and think about the positives of quitting smoking. Perhaps try engaging in a physical activity to help you forget about those cravings and release some feel-good endorphins into your body. Remind yourself of the positive changes you are making in your life by not smoking and that in the long-term, you will be glad you didn't cave into having 'one last' cigarette.
There will be certain situations when your body tells you to reach for that cigarette, perhaps when you are highly stressed. You need to re-condition your body so that when these situations arise, you change your behaviour and do something positive instead.
Save up all of the money you would have spent on cigarettes and at the end of the month, treat yourself to something nice. You will be amazed at how much money you have been 'wasting' over all of these years!
Remember, you will need to draw upon your will power to help you through the first few weeks but it will get easier as your body learns to live without nicotine.