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Help and advice on quitting smoking

Other effective strategies for preventing a relapse

Do more sport or get more exercise

Sport releases tensions and reduces the urge to smoke. Playing a sport increases self-esteem and reinforces your identity as someone who takes care of their health. It is a fun and effective way to prevent a relapse.

Be active

Practice the activities you like best. Plan activities in advance. Make sure you don't have too much free time into which the regret of smoking can creep.

Modify your environment

Avoid keeping things around that may tempt you to smoke. Dispose of cigarette packs, ashtrays and lighters. Do not carry cigarettes with you and try to avoid asking smokers for one. Wash your clothes to get rid of the smell of smoke.

Seek help from those around you

You can increase your chances of success with the support of those around you. Let others know that you have quit smoking, ask them to help you. Talk to someone you trust about your efforts to stop smoking. Beware of some smokers, they may be envious of your success and try to tempt you to have a cigarette.

Are you using the right strategies? Your opinion matters to us!

Seek professional help

Professional help increases your chance of success. You can:

  • Ask your doctor. He will help you himself or address you to the right person.
  • See a specialist in smoking cessation
  • Participate in a group support program (e.g. Five - Day Plan)

Encourage your spouse to quit too

Together you can share your experience and help each other. Also, if your spouse stops smoking, it will increase your chances of quitting successfully too.

Be proud of yourself

By quitting smoking you have won a victory and regained your freedom. Be proud of your success. Realize that you are highly thought of by smokers who would like to quit smoking too but failed. These positive feelings can help you stay an ex-smoker.

Reward yourself

Buy yourself small gifts with the money saved on cigarettes, you deserve it! Some rewards do not cost anything, like talking positively to yourself ("I am very proud to have successfully quit smoking").And why not offer small gifts to those around you who may have had to put up with your post-smoking irritability?

Keep two lists on you

For a few days, try the following experiment: keep two lists with you and refer to them when cravings arise, it will replace the gesture of taking out your pack of cigarettes.

  1. The list of reasons why you have stopped smoking
  2. A list of your personal techniques for resisting the urge to smoke

Interpret cravings as signals

For a long time after you give up smoking you should still expect to feel the urge to smoke. Do not consider these cravings as failures but as warning signs that tell you that you must use the strategies and techniques described on these pages.

Managing a possible weight gain

People usually put on weight after quitting smoking. However, this weight gain is moderate (3 to 4 kilos on average) and there are many simple and effective techniques for losing weight or not putting any on. In particular, the use of nicotine patches by ex-smokers can limit, or at least delay, weight gain. Tell yourself? "One thing at a time.  For now I will tackle my smoking habit, and then I will address the weight gain. If I can quit smoking, then I will be able to lose weight."  Starting smoking again will not necessarily make you lose weight either. Indeed, a relapse may depress you and lead you to overeat.

To limit weight gain, avoid fatty foods, get more exercise and get enough sleep. Eat more fruit and vegetables. There are many books on how to lose weight; consult a good bookstore. Ask a professional for help. Above all, do not impose too severe a diet on yourself, because it is too difficult a time. Be sure that quitting smoking remains your priority. Better to put on a few kilos now than to weigh 35 kilos on chemotherapy, if that were to happen to you, you wouldn't even dare hope to put on any weight.

List the benefits of a life without tobacco

Here are the benefits as described by ex-smokers in the context of our investigation on smoking cessation.

  • "I spend less money."
  • "I feel younger." "I have more energy." "I'm in better shape."
  • "I have rediscovered tastes and smells."
  • "I feel much better." "I can breathe better." "I'm quite proud of myself."
  • "I have much better breath." "My clothes don't smell anymore." "I look better."
  • "I do not have to worry about my lungs."
  • "I don't cough anymore." "I no longer get headaches." "I'm not as nervous as I was."
  • "We don't bother those around us so much." "My loved ones think more highly of me." "My family is pleased."

If you start to have doubts...

Prepare an answer that will help you to resist taking a cigarette

If you think...

Say to yourself

I'll have just one

There's a good chance it will make me relapse. I've made it this far, it would be a pity to throw that away.

I can't manage without a cigarette

If I hang on just another 2 days, the worst will be over.

I decided to quit and I won't go back to the coughing and bronchitis.

I'm impossible to live with when I'm trying to quit

Irritability is a normal withdrawal symptom, it will pass.

To lessen my irritability I will use a product containing nicotine (nicotine replacement therapy).

A cigarette will help me cope with my problems

I'm perfectly capable of doing what I need to without smoking.

I will only smoke occasionally.

It's very difficult to smoke only occasionally. I could easily find myself smoking as much as before.

This is not the right time, I'll quit smoking later.

If I wait for the right time I'll never quit.

Write below another reason to start smoking again.

Find an answer to oppose it.