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How To Quit Smoking

image How To Quit Smoking

Once you have made the decision to quit smoking, it is important to take as much time as you need to mentally prepare. Stopping smoking is tough going for so many people so it is important to know what feelings you might go through and be ready to confront cravings.

Going "cold turkey" is one tried and tested method for giving up smoking. This is when you just stop smoking and that's all there is to it! It may work for some but do note, the sudden cease of cigarette smoking may be tough, requiring the strongest willpower and cravings are likely to be harder to deal with than a quitter using additional methods to help them stop. However, if this is the way you want to do it then go for it! Keep positive and don't let those cigarette cravings get the better you.

Taking the slow approach to quitting smoking suits a lot more people. Whether you want to cut down the amount you smoke or wean yourself off smoking all together, it can take time to adjust. Some people can do it without any help but there is nothing wrong with asking for assistance if you feel you need it. There are lots of options available to help you quit smoking; they might seem overwhelming but Express Chemist can break the options down and help you find a plan suited to you.
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  • Coping with Giving up Smoking

     Coping with Giving up Smoking

    Going smoke-free can be a strange feeling. Not being able to smoke can create lower the mood. Similarly, emotions and feelings will need to be handled in a different way, rather then resorting to smoking to help yourself feel better/cope.

Options for Quitting Smoking

- Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) - NRT are consumable products that contain a measured dose of nicotine. This nicotine is released throughout the day into the body or you take it when you need it (it depends on the form your NRT product comes in). NRT products are available as patches, chewing gum, inhalers, lozenges and nasal spray and are available to buy from Express Chemist. Do note that we provide discounts for bulk buys on selected NRT items.

- Cigarette replacement - If you don't want to miss the feeling of holding or inhaling a cigarette, products exist which can replace your usual cigarette for something slightly better for you. You could try Herbal Cigarettes, Nicorette Inhaler, or attaching a filter to your cigarette to restrict the amount of tar and nicotine entering your lungs. We also have a section dedicated to cigarette substitutes.

- Support - There are lots of people you can ask for help along the way. If you can, get your friends and family behind you and even involved - You may find a partner who would like to quit with you. You can also ask your GP or the NHS about local support groups, quitting programmes and for additional advice.

How to Quit Smoking

The Plan

When cutting down on cigarettes, it is best to do it in your own time. Set yourself a goal date to stop smoking by, to give you something to work towards. To keep focused and motivated, manage your quitting time in stages or "bite-sized" chunks. Cut down the amount you smoke by half within a set amount of time of your choice. Then halve you intake again and again, until you can stop altogether. This is a steady method to use, allowing you to manage your time and keep you in control of your intake. So, FOR EXAMPLE; If you smoke 20 a day, try to cut down to 10 a day within 6 weeks. Once you are successfully smoking a maximum of just 10 a day, you have the choice; if you are ready, halve you intake again to 5 per day within another 6 weeks OR you can pause at 10 a day for as long as you need. Staying cut down is still better then the amount you were smoking originally. Take a look at your smoking pattern. This may give you a realistic idea of how long it could take to cut down or quit:
  • A Very Heavy Smoker typically has 30 + cigarettes every day.
  • A Heavy Smoker typically has 20-30 cigarettes daily.
  • An Average Smoker typically has 10-20 cigarettes daily.
  • A Light Smoker typically smokes a pack of 20 cigarettes over 1 week.
  • A Social smoker smokes only at weekends or whilst out drinking with friends. A Social smoker can inhale between 1 and 15 cigarettes in one sitting.
If you know you want to use Nicotine Replacement Therapy and/or a way to substitute the act of smoking but have no idea where to start, Express Chemist can help point you in the right direction. We have put together a table suggesting products you could try depending on how much you smoke and how you want to handle your cravings:
Nicotine Replacement to dispel cravingsProducts to manage cravingsCigarette Replacement
Very Heavy & Heavy Smokers (20 + per day)
  • Either replacing or diluting your cigarette intake with Honeyrose Herbal Cigarettes is an excellent first step to getting away from the addictive nature of nicotine. (TIP: You could use Nicotine Replacement Therapy along-side Honeyrose in the form of Nicotine gum or lozenges).
  • If you are not quite ready to totally give up cigarettes, pop a Crafe Away filter on the cigarette's tip, to reduce the amount of tar and nicotine from entering the body.
Average Smoker (10-20 per day)
  • The Nicorette Inhalator is brilliant at delivering nicotine through a hand held device. You have total control over how much you inhale and have something that mimics a cigarette.
  • The Microtab by Nicorette is a discreet way of managing nicotine cravings. Just pop one under your tongue. Each tab contains 2mg nicotine.
  • The Nicorette Inhalator sits comfortably in the hand and delivers a dose of Nicotine.
  • If you do not want the Nicotine intake either, try HoneyRose Lights. These herbal cigarettes act like a cigarette without the tobacco or Nicotine.
Light Smoker (0-10 per day)
  • If you've almost completely quit but need extra help, try a supplement such as to help suppress cravings and anxiety that contains Avena Sativa, vitamins & minerals to help improve general well-being.
  • Lighter 2mg Chewing Gums and lozenges are available such as Nicorette Icy White Gum providing nicotine when you need it whilst helping to restore tooth whiteness.
  • The Crafe Away Cigarette is totally smoke free, nicotine free, tobacco flavoured pretend cigarette. Provides the taste of tobacco without doing any harm.

Quitting Tips

  • Cut down in stages - If you want to quit, set small, reachable dates in which you want to have halved your cigarette intake by. Once you reach that goal, set your next date to halve your intake again by. This is a great, staggered way of cutting down and stopping.
  • Find a partner - Giving up smoking and staying that way takes a lot of will power and positive thinking. If you know someone who also needs to quit, do it together to support one another and keep each other motivated. This can also apply to those wanting to lose weight, exercise and eat a better diet etc.
  • Stop drinking - drinking alcohol and caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee, usually creates a desire to accompany them with a cigarette. If you know you are going out for a drink or will be having coffee breaks at work, stay prepared with something like the Nicorette Inhalator or Nicotinelle Mint Gum just in case you need the nicotine boost.
  • Avoid temptation - Once you have quit, do not keep hold of that last packet of cigarettes - throw them in the bin. If your partner smokes, make sure they hide their cigs and do not go looking for them. If you are relaxing and find you fancy "just the one", don't do it! Once you have a taste for tobacco, you will only want more which will undo all that hard work.
  • Keep yourself busy - It's never too late to take up a hobby, get in touch with old friends, do a bit of redecorating, play board or puzzle games, go swimming or even try some voluntary work. Keep your mind away from smoking and put the money that you'd been wasting on cigarettes to better use.
  • Treats - Another good use for all the extra money you're saving by not smoking, is to reward yourself from time to time. If a month goes by and you've not a single puff, you deserve something nice!
  • Reminders - Don't forget the reasons why you are quitting. Think about what good are doing for your body. The cravings might be tough but you will feel better in yourself as the weeks pass. If you are doing it for your family as much as yourself, don't forget that they are behind you. You could stick photographs or post-it notes in an obvious place to stimulate your motivation and stop you losing your focus.
  • Keep a record - Following your progress through a diary or an online blog should help you stay on track. Any challenges you get through, set backs you face and all the feeling and thoughts you have, write it down. Even if you relapse and start smoking again, note it down in you diary. You can reflect on your notes, using the information to keep positive. If you have started smoking again, don't feel guilty about it, instead think of it as a lesson learned. Filter through your diary, picking out the good points and review any areas where things didn't work out. This will then help you do things differently the next time around.

Products to Help Quit Smoking

  • Nicotine Gum

    Nicotine Gum

    Chewing nicotine gum gives you something to do when you would normally have a cigarette, helping to take you mind off smoking.

  • Nicotine Patches

    Nicotine Patches

    Nicotine patches are a discreet way to ensure your body gets a steady dose of nictone through the day. They come in varying strengths.

  • Nicotine Sprays

    Nicotine Sprays

    A nicotine spray delivers a direct, metered dose when required. We have both nasal sprays and mouth sprays.

  • Cigarette Substitutes

    Cigarette Substitutes

    Cigarette substitutes give your hands something to do when cravings strike, satifying both the chemical and physical aspects of smoking.

Further Help & Advice

  • Coping After Smoking

     Coping After Smoking

    Help and advice on coping with the cravings and withdrawal symptoms that come with stopping smoking. Overcoming them is easier when you know what to expect.

  • The Health Effects of Smoking

    The Health Effects of Smoking

    If you need persuading when it comes to quitting, our information on the impact smoking has on your health will help you make up your mind.

  • Stop Smoking

    Stop Smoking

    Our main stop smoking page has everything you need to stop smoking, all in one place.