If you're thinking about quitting, then one of the most important things is preparation. And a great way to prepare is to develop a Quit Plan. This can help you to:
- Combine several quit smoking strategies to help you stay focused, confident and motivated
- Help you identify the challenges you'll face as you quit and understand how to overcome them
- Improve your chances of quitting smoking forever
These simple steps will help you to create your own personal Quit Plan. As you progress through each step, take a record of your plan and have it available at all times during your quitting journey.
Pick a quit date
This will help you plan, and when it comes to choosing the date, it's best to make it sooner rather than later. Many smokers who succeed in quitting select a date within two weeks of deciding to quit smoking. This gives you enough time to prepare, but doesn't delay things. Think carefully about your quit date. Avoid choosing a day when you know you'll have lots on, where you may feel stressed, or may be tempted to light up, for example on a night out with friends or on days when you may smoke at work.
Once you've chosen the date, highlight it on your calendar. Write it where you will see it every day so that you're constantly reminded of your decision to become smokefree and so you give yourself time to get ready.
Let people close to you know
Giving up smoking is easier if the important people in your life are supporting you. Before your quit date arrives, let them know that you're planning to quit. Tell them how they can help you – we all have different needs, so make sure you let them know what you need from them.
It can be hard to ask for help, even from those people closest to you, so take a look at tips on getting support to get some ideas.
Remove reminders of smoking
Getting rid of anything that reminds you of smoking can be a big help. Smoking reminders can include your cigarettes, matches, ashtrays and lighters, and it may also be helpful to clean and freshen up your work area, your home and your car. Empty ashtrays, as even the smell of a cigarette can cause you to crave one.
Throw away all your cigarettes and matches, and give away your lighters and ashtrays. Don't save one pack of cigarettes 'just in case you need one'.
Identify why you're quitting
People decide to quit for different reasons. They might want to save money, become healthier of protect their family. While you're preparing, think about your reasons by making a list and reading it every day. Keep your list handy and use it to inspire yourself to carry on. Whenever you fel tempted to have a cigarette, read the list.
Identify things that make you want to smoke
Smoking can become interwoven with other parts of your life. Certain activities, feelings, situations and even people can be linked to your smoking, and when you encounter them they make you want to smoke. try to foresee these things and plan how to tackle them. List out things that make you want to light up and identify a way of dealing with each one. It'll help you to have this list near you when you're quitting.
Develop coping strategies
It's nicotine that makes you become addicted to smoking. When you quit, your body has to adjust to losing the nicotine in your system, a process called 'withdrawal'. Withdrawal often isn't pleasant, but you can beat it. Medication and behavioural changes can help you manage withdrawal. If you need medication, make sure you have it available before your quit date, and don't forget that withdrawal symptoms and cravings will reduce the longer you stay smokefree.
Quitting smoking isn't easy, but we're here to help. Call us for a chat on 0800 018 4304 or complete our referral form when you're ready.