Stoptober 2021: Methods to Help You Quit Smoking
What is Stoptober?
If you’re looking to quit smoking, now is the best time. The Stoptober campaign was started by Public Health England to help smokers kick their habits and work towards a healthier, smoke-free future. The campaign was inspired by figures that found that smokers who stop for 28 days or more are 5x more likely to quit forever.
Stoptober occurs in October (hence the name) each year, with the aim of raising awareness of the harmful effects of smoking, the benefits of quitting and the resources and tools that are available to guide them in their journey towards a smoke-free lifestyle.
10 methods to help you quit smoking for Stoptober
- Keep a positive mindset
- Avoid triggers
- Identify when you need a cigarette
- Keep Active
- Reach out
- Seek Online Support
- Experiment with relaxation techniques
- Look at your dietary preferences
- Remind yourself of the risks of smoking and the benefits of quitting
- Don’t “just have one”
1. Keep a positive mindset
You might’ve previously attempted to quit smoking and been unsuccessful, but don't let that dishearten you. Reflect on your experiences and think about how you're going to do things differently this time.
2. Avoid triggers
Urges for tobacco are usually at their strongest in social situations, such as at parties or bars, or while feeling stressed or consuming caffeine. Identify your triggers and have a strategy to avoid them altogether or manage them without having a cigarette.
3. Identify when you need a cigarette
A tobacco craving generally lasts around 5 minutes. Before quitting, try and jot down some 5-minute action plans.
For example, if you’re at a social event like a party, you can nip off to the toilet for a minute or go and talk to someone else while your other friends are having a smoke. Alternatively, you could invest in a vape kit and some e-liquid of your choice, giving you the option for a healthier way to satisfy your nicotine cravings and not have to miss out on any of the conversation.
4. Keep Active
Exercise may help distract you from tobacco cravings or at least reduce their intensity. Even brief sessions of exercise — like running up and down the stairs a few times — can weaken a tobacco craving or get rid of it. Go out for some fresh air and have a walk or a brisk jog. If you're pent up inside at home or at work, see if squats, deep knee bends, pushups or running on the spot helps.
5. Reach out
Smokers are up to 4 times more likely to give up successfully with help and advice from experts. You can have a chat with someone on the NHS Smokefree helpline on 0300 123 1044, open Monday to Friday, 9 am to 8 pm and Saturday to Sunday, 11 am to 4 pm.
There's also support available from local NHS services that offer advice to smokers trying to quit.
Maybe you’d prefer something more personal, you might have a friend or relative also trying to quit smoking. Why don’t you see if you could try and give up together?
6. Seek Online Support
If that previous step doesn’t work for you, try an online programme for smokers to help you quit. Maybe read a blog article written by someone who has successfully given up. It might benefit you greatly to learn how others have managed to defeat their tobacco cravings
7. Experiment with relaxation techniques
Smoking is a way many people cope with high stress and resisting the urge to smoke can be stressful in itself. Experiment with other ways of calming yourself down such as deep-breathing exercises, yoga, muscle relaxation or listening to mellow or ambient music.
8. Look at your dietary preferences
A cigarette after dinner is a staple of many adults’ evenings. An American study ( The effects of foods, beverages, and other factors on cigarette palatability ) found that certain foods, like meat, make cigarettes taste better and even provide them with a more satisfying hit.
On the other hand, foods like fruit, vegetables and even cheese are said to make tobacco taste disgusting. So consider swapping your usual burger or bacon sarnie for an omelette, or your sausage roll for a vegan one.
The study also looked at smokers' choices of beverages. Alcohol, fizzy soft drinks, tea and coffee all enhance the taste of tobacco. Swap the cola and energy drinks for water and juice, and if you’re out drinking, some smokers and ex-smokers find that changing their drink from beer to wine, for example, weakens their desire for a cigarette.
9. Remind yourself of the risks of smoking and the benefits of quitting
When it gets tough, think about all the nasty health risks that smoking can cause. Lung Cancer, Coronary Heart Disease, Strokes, Heart Attacks. The list goes on. Think about the benefits of finally kicking tobacco; you’ll smell and taste things better, you’ll be protecting those you care about from secondhand smoke and saving money, among countless other things that’ll improve your life in general.
10. Don’t “just have one”
While it’s tempting to just slip up and rationalise to yourself that just having one can’t hurt, this is the worst thing you can do in your journey to a smoke-free future. More often than not, it’ll just lead you back to square one.
The Best Way to Quit Smoking for Stoptober
This will always depend on the individual. While quitting ‘Cold Turkey’ may work for some, others’ rely on alternative ways of staving off their nicotine cravings.
If you’re thinking of giving Stoptober a go, visit the NHS Stoptober website for more advice on how to finally give up tobacco for good.
Consider your personal habits and examine the various options available to weigh up the best ways of going about quitting. You can always experiment with some different methods and tools to see what works best for you. The most important part of quitting is willpower, so ensure that you reach out for support from friends and family and really commit yourself to give up for good. Check out our Stoptober deals here.
Making the switch to vaping
Vaping has exploded in popularity over the last decade or so. Public Health England has even declared them to be considerably less harmful than tobacco.
We stock a plethora of different vape kits, vape juices and vape accessories online and ecig store to suit a multitude of vaping preferences, so feel free to browse our selection.
To learn more, please read our Beginners Guide To Vaping.