Former smokers live longer than continuing smokers. Quitting smoking has major and immediate health benefits for all, with or without smoking-related diseases, and regardless of gender and age.
For a start, smoking cessation decreases the risks of many types of cancers, heart attacks, strokes and chronic lung diseases within one short year. Women who stop smoking before pregnancy or in their first trimester reduce their risks of birth complications to that of non-smokers.
So why not quit today?
Health benefits of quitting
Within 8 Hours
Carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
Oxygen level in your blood returns to normal.
Within 48 Hours
Your chances of having a heart attack deceases.
Your sense of smell and taste returns to normal.
Within 72 Hours
Breathing eases as your bronchial tubes relax.
Your decline in lung function stops.
Your energy levels increase.
Within 3 Months
Blood circulation improves.
Blood pressure returns to normal.
For men, sperm count returns to normal. For women, fertility improves.
Your lung capacity increases, making walking and aerobic activity easier.
Within 1 Year
Your risk of smoking-related heart attack is reduced by 50%.
Within 10 Years
Your risk of lung, bladder, kidney and pancreatic cancers decreases.
If you feel that you are not ready to quit immediately, you can try cutting down on the number of cigarettes smoked each day. Start by cutting down on those cigarettes which you feel you can do without. Gradual reduction helps to reduce your body's dependence on cigarettes and will make your quit attempt later easier.
For some smokers who have quit successfully, this is one of the most effective quit methods to start with! Simply decide to stop smoking on a particular date and stay firm on that decision! To avoid temptations, clear all your ashtrays, lighters and cigarette packs and remind yourself of your reasons for quitting. Arm yourself with practical quit tips and with a good dose of willpower, you will succeed!
Seek professional help from quit advisors
Quit Advisors will help to assess your level of addiction, customise a quit plan according to your needs and offer you useful advice and support during your quit journey. With professional help and support, you are four times more likely to quit successfully! You can combine professional advice with any of the other quit methods.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
NRT includes nicotine gum, skin patches, lozenges, nasal sprays or 'inhalers'. They work by releasing small amounts of nicotine into your body (substituting the nicotine in the cigarette) to counter cravings and relieve withdrawal symptoms. This helps you cope better with your day-to-day routine while you are quitting smoking. NRT is useful for smokers who are highly addicted to cigarettes.
NRT is widely available at all pharmacies and does not require a prescription to purchase.
Medication such as Buproprion Hydrochloride is nicotine-free and works by boosting the levels of chemical messengers in the brain. With more of these chemicals at work, you experience a reduction in nicotine withdrawal symptoms and a weakening of the urge to smoke. This oral medication is available only with a doctor's prescription. Consult your doctor to find out if this is suitable for you.
For useful tips to quit smoking, click here.
There's no magic formula to quitting. Although NRT and medication can help to relieve some of the withdrawal symptoms, the key to success still lies with your willpower and determination to quit.
Kick start your quit journey by seeking advice from our Quit Consultants from QuitLine or downloading the I Quit Mobile App.
If you haven't already, throw away all your lighters, ashtrays and cigarette packs! ALL of them, including the ones you've hidden in your drawer for 'emergency' purposes.
Make it known to everybody that you are quitting smoking - your friends, colleagues, bosses, family members and even your neighbours. If you are afraid to tell because you think you will not succeed in quitting, think of it from another perspective - making your quit attempt known to everyone will prevent you from failing!
List your quit buddies. Include smoking buddies who are also thinking of quitting, and non-smoking friends who will support you. Save their numbers in your handphone and SMS or call them whenever you have the urge to smoke.
Put up 'No Smoking' signs in visible areas (on your desktop, inside your wardrobe, in the washroom) to remind yourself of your new resolution. Constant visual reminders are powerful and can give you encouragement when your mind is wandering on other topics.
Know what you are getting into. You may experience withdrawal symptoms and you'll almost certainly go through urges that are difficult to control. Understand what causes these urges and withdrawal symptoms and have a plan ready for what you will do when this happens.
Remember the 4 Ds!
Distract yourself by doing something else
Prepare a 'Rescue Kit" to distract you from cravings. Some items you can put in your kit includes sugar-free sweets, MP3 player and handheld games to keep your mind distracted
Delay lighting up
Every time you feel the urge to light up, pop a sugar-free mint into your mouth or drink water to delay the urge. The cravings will pass whether you smoke or not!
Do deep breathing exercises to help you relax
Concentrating on your body and your breathing is an effective way to get over cravings
Drink a glass of water or milk slowly
Keeping your hands and mouth busy is often all you need to do to get over an urge to smoke
Managing your cravings
Nicotine in cigarettes is a powerful drug and can be as addictive as heroine and cocaine. However, not everyone will experience withdrawal symptoms. Approximately 20% of smokers will experience strong withdrawal symptoms. But they often disappear after the first 2-3 weeks when the feeling of well-being starts to kick in. The withdrawal symptoms are usually worse in the first 48 hours and they are normal signs that your body is recovering from the harmful effects of smoking. Here are some tips to help manage your cravings.
It's all in the mind
Over the years, you've learnt to use smoking as a coping mechanism to deal with your daily stresses. You now have to re-program your mind to use other coping mechanisms instead. Use these tips to strengthen your mind.
Change your habits
Smoking may have become part of your daily routine and you automatically reach for cigarettes at certain places, certain times or even around certain people. The key to changing your habits is to replace the old habits with new ones. Here are some tips to help change your habits.
Managing your cravings
If you suffer from withdrawal symptoms, try these to help make them more manageable:
Take regular stretch breaks to re-energise your body. To think better, try sniffing peppermint oil or drink peppermint tea instead.
Relaxation exercises like yoga, meditation and deep breathing really helps to calm the mind. If you've got time, catch a feel-good movie or comedy.
Get enough sleep. Stay in quiet, relaxed surroundings. A head and shoulder massage can ease the pain.
Get enough sleep and increase your physical activity. Drink ginger tea to perk yourself up.
Sip warm water. Suck on sugar-free cough drops.
Hunger or thirst in between meals
Drink lots of plain water or unsweetened fresh juices. Satisfy your hunger with low-calorie snacks.
Change your habits
Old habits die hard. So find new habits to replace them!
Got a daily routine? Change it!
Try introducing some changes in your daily routine. If you tend take a certain route to work every day, take another path. Have breakfast somewhere else that prohibits smoking and if you smoke after a meal, eat a fruit or brush your teeth instead. Try drinking other hot beverages instead of your usual morning coffee. This will break the associations that you have formed with smoking.
Keep your hands busy
You can't smoke if your hands are occupied, so think of ways to keep those fingers moving! Every time you feel like your hands are 'empty', SMS your friend or play some games from your handphone.
Fill up with healthy snacks
Replace cigarette toxins with low-calorie snacks, fruit and vegetables. Fill your mouth with sugar-free candy or mints, this will give you an excuse to reject cigarette offers from your friends.
It's all in the mind
Build a strong mind to keep your motivation strong!
Think positive - Visualise yourself as someone who has overcome quitting. Being able to picture yourself as someone you want to be helps to shape your attitude towards achieving it. Smile and use positive words in your inner thoughts or when talking to others. You'll be surprised how contagious positive attitudes can be. When you are positive, people naturally like to be with you and that reinforces your positive thinking.
Find a listening ear - You don't have to quit alone. Find support and encouragement from friends, family, a loved one or even a professional advisor when you feel your resolve slipping. Share with them your problems and feelings and make a connection with others. By doing that, you'll lighten your emotional load and give you more comfort and support in your quit attempt.
Keep yourself distracted - Always thought about picking up a new language or a new hobby? Now's the time to do so. Sign up for class, learn a new instrument (drums might be good for relieving stress) or start playing some computer games to keep your mind off smoking.
Get active! - Engaging in physical activity releases endorphins in your body, giving you a natural feeling of well-being. If you have no time for a proper game or a swim, try integrating some simple exercises such as climbing the stair or brisk walking to the train station.
Find other ways to relieve stress - Relax with yoga or get your body grooving to a new dance! You can also try deep breathing exercises and muscle relaxation methods for quick results. If your schedule allows, you might want to go for a short weekend getaway to refresh your mind and soul.
Be strong and be positive. Tell yourself you can do it! Quitting smoking may be a challenge, but positive thinking will help you achieve success.
It is totally depends on your intention to quit it.Think always positive.You might have given up before, but tell yourself that you’re really going to do it this time.
Hello Eac I have started smoking when I get apart form my girlfriend. I met her through one of the social dating site. Now I realize I should quite smoking as it is not helping me but damaging me. I hope your motivation post will help me alot to quite smoking. Thank You
It's all in the mind. . . the mind!!!
it shd not be for anybody
it shd be urself, when u are ready
i m smoking out the germs in the body n tat makes me healthier