UPDATED MARCH 2018
As well as increasing your risk of severe illness including heart disease and strokes, smoking is complicit in a multitude of cancers across the body, from the lungs to the liver. If that wasn’t bad enough, cigarettes also lead to a whole host of superficial issues, from premature wrinkles to a sallow complexion, yellow teeth and bad breath. And don’t forget, the cost alone can harm your bank balance, with the average smoker spending nearly £50 a month feeding their habit.
Want to kick that nicotine addiction now? Read on for the top tips, tricks and products you’ll need...
1. Try a retreat
If you’ve tried and failed to give up before and want to up your chances of success, it might be worth considering a specialist retreat for a fag break with a difference.
Platinum Healing’s STOP Smoking Retreat
Often called one of the best detox retreats in the world, Platinum Healing in Sussex and Lincolnshire runs effective STOP Smoking programmes throughout the year. Designed to help long-term smokers finally quit for good, the four-night retreat tackles the emotional, psychological and physical causes of addiction. Using a mix of daily yoga classes, meditation and clinical hypnotherapy, plus life coaching, mindfulness and expert guidance, this holistic approach helps you take the plunge and quit for good. It also incorporates a juice detox, healthy eating and supplements to help you feel calm, balanced and ready to become a non-smoker.
2. Get tips from the experts
For the most comprehensive online advice, head to Quit With Help, an online resource dedicated to help smokers kick their habit. The site’s ‘Quit Smoking Tips’ section is bursting with useful advice and tricks you might not know, from avoiding your normal tipple on nights out to practising targeted deep breathing exercises. If you’re looking for additional help, this resource also provides an easy-to-use way of finding local smoking support groups in your area – simply type in your postcode for a detailed list of nearby options.
3. Download an App
Keep a support system rather than a cigarette in your hand by downloading a dedicated stop smoking app you can access at any time to help ditch those cravings...
The NHS’s official app is a four-week programme, which provides daily support and tailored tips. It’ll also help you track how much money you’re saving and the number of days you’ve stayed cigarette-free.
Quit Smoking – QuitNow!
As well as helping you keep track of your progress, this clever app uses data from the UN’s Word Health Organisation to give you an idea of how much your health is improving over time.
LIVESTRONG: My QuitCoach
This motivational option creates a personalised plan to help you quit, whether you want to go cold turkey or gradually decrease your daily nicotine intake. With plenty of progress charts and inspirational quotes to access, this pocket coach will keep you going.
4. The Best Books
Sometimes a self-help book can do wonders for your motivation levels. Try one of these effective methods from the experts...
The SmokeFree Formula: A Revolutionary Way to Stop Smoking Now by Professor Robert West
Written by a world authority on smoking and addiction, who helped shape the NHS stop smoking initiative, this book teaches you how to create your own personal formula for beating the addiction long-term.
Quit Smoking Today Without Gaining Weight by Paul McKenna
If you’re concerned about replacing one craving for another and gaining weight after you quit, this option from renowned hypnotist Paul McKenna is for you. Including an accompanying CD, his simple conditioning technique should help you retrain your mind and body to give up cigarettes without piling on the pounds.
Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking by Allen Carr
A bestseller that’s sold over 9 million copies worldwide, this reliable tome has so far helped 25 million people give up, including A-listers like Ashton Kutcher. Written by an accountant who once smoked 100 cigarettes a day, the effective method is designed to eliminate your psychological dependence on smoking.
5. Quitting Aids
Need an extra dose of staying power? Go the distance with these nicotine-enhanced aids, designed to give you a boost of motivation when you need it.
Visit NHS.uk for more helpful advice.