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Ten surprising tips to help smokers to quit

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If you are producing promotional messages and collateral for No Smoking Day, here are some top tips you can pass on to actively encourage staff to stop smoking.


Top tips to give smoking the boot by John Dicey, Global CEO and senior therapist at Allen Carr’s Easyway

  1. Set your date and time to stop and carry on smoking as usual right up to that time – don’t try to cut down beforehand, that just makes cigarettes seem more precious rather than less so.

  2. Remember – you’re not giving up anything because cigarettes do absolutely nothing for you at all. They seem to make you feel better – but remember – all each cigarette does is end the period of dissatisfaction created by the previous one. That’s how drug addiction works. That’s how we are fooled into thinking we like smoking – or at least get some form of help from it. You’re going to enjoy being a non-smoker right from the moment you put out your last cigarette.

  3. Light your final cigarette and make a solemn vow that regardless of what highs or lows may befall you in future, you will never puff on another cigarette or take nicotine in any form again. This is one of the most important decisions you will ever make because the length and quality of your future life critically depend on it. What’s more, you know it’s the correct decision even as you make it. Having made what you know to be the correct decision never even begin to question or to doubt that decision.

  4. Your body will continue to withdraw from nicotine for a few days but that doesn’t mean you have to be miserable. The physical withdrawal is very slight – there is no pain – and it passes quickly. The physical discomfort you’ve experienced in the past when you tried to quit was not caused by nicotine withdrawal – but because you felt you were sacrificing something special. You’re getting rid of smoking – not ‘giving it up’.

  5. If you associate a cigarette with a coffee, tea, drink or break, have your coffee, tea, drink or break and at that moment, instead of thinking:
    “I can’t have a cigarette now” and feeling glum, simply remind yourself how lucky you are to be free. There’s no need to stop going to the smoking area or avoiding friends or colleagues who smoke – as long as you’re happy to be free – you won’t envy them. In fact, they will envy you.

  6. If you’re offered a cigarette after you quit, just say: “No thanks – I don’t smoke,” rather than start a long conversation about how long it has been since you stopped.
  7. Don't try not to think about smoking – it doesn’t work. If I say: “Don’t think about a brick wall,” what do you find yourself thinking about? Just make sure that whenever you are thinking about it, you’re not thinking: “I want a cigarette but I can’t have one” but instead: “Isn’t it marvellous – it’s fabulous to be free”. Reframing how you feel about stopping smoking makes it an entirely positive act. The more you think about it – the happier you will be.

  8. Never be fooled into thinking you can have the odd cigarette just to be sociable or just to get over a difficult moment. If you do, you’ll find yourself back in the trap in no time at all. Never think in terms of one cigarette; always think of the whole filthy lifetime’s chain. Remember: there is no such thing as just one cigarette.

  9. Do not use any substitutes. They all make it more difficult to stop because they perpetuate the illusion that you’re making a sacrifice. You’re not sacrificing anything – you’re getting rid of a disease.

  10. Do not keep cigarettes on you or anywhere else in case of an emergency. If you do, it means you’re doubting your decision. Non-smokers do not need You are already a non-smoker the moment you put out your final cigarette. In fact, one of the many joys of being free is not having to worry about having cigarettes and a light on you, and ending that feeling of slavery forever.
If you’re offered a cigarette after you quit, just say: “No thanks – I don’t smoke." Illustration from British Safety Council archives

For more advice on stopping smoking see: nhs.uk/better-health
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