5 techniques to stay quit
Most smokers will try to quit several times before they succeed. However, the good news is that if you quit smoking for a month, you’re far more likely to stay a quitter. All quitters face temptation along the way. When it happens to you, try these techniques:
1. Focus on the benefits
Quitting is hard at first, but only gets easier – especially when you start to notice positive changes in your body:
- Within six hours - your heart rate slows and your blood pressure becomes more stable
- Within a week - your sense of taste and smell should improve
- Within three months - you should be coughing and wheezing less
- Within two to five years - there’s a large drop in your risk of heart attack and stroke.
To stay on track, think about these benefits. You may want to write down how you feel every day and how you managed to stay on track. Every time you’re tempted to light up again, have a read and remind yourself how far you’ve come.
2. Replace the habit
There’s nothing like a little positive distraction to keep your cravings at bay. Try replacing cigarettes with another activity: eating a piece of fruit, chewing some gum, making a cup of tea, drinking some water or even playing a song that motivates you. When cravings hit, take a few deep breaths and acknowledge the cravings for what they are. If you delay acting on your cravings for a few minutes, they should pass.
3. Reward yourself
To stay on track, goals are important, as are rewards. Be sure to celebrate every milestone – no matter how small. Start out with regular rewards (perhaps two or three days without a cigarette) and as being a non-smoker becomes easier, go for longer. You could even put away the money you would otherwise have spent on cigarettes and buy yourself a treat at the end of every month.
Use the cost calculator to see how much you will save. If you spend $20 a day that's $600 a month and $7,300 per year.
Or, follow Quitline on Facebook and share with others how much you’ve saved.
4. Call yourself a non-smoker
As soon as you quit smoking, you earn the right to call yourself a non-smoker. It doesn’t matter if you’ve given up cigarettes for four days or four years. By seeing yourself as a non-smoker, you’ll start to make decisions like a non-smoker. So if someone offers you a cigarette, you can simply say, “no thanks, I don’t smoke.”
5. Avoid triggers… especially at first
For most smokers, cigarettes go hand in hand with another habit: a cup of coffee, a drink at the pub, a break at work, or after a meal. While it’s impossible to avoid all these triggers entirely, try changing your approach. If you’re used to reaching for a cigarette while drinking your morning coffee, call a friend instead. If you usually have a cigarette after dinner, go for a quick walk or make yourself a cup of tea. Download the My QuitBuddy app for some other tips.
Don’t forget that there are plenty of great resources to help you quit. Call the Quitline on 13 78 48 or chat online - 8.30am-7.45pm Mon-Fri or 2pm-4.45pm Saturday or register online for a call back. To find out more about quitting, visit quitlinesa.org.au.