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How to Prepare for a Successful Quit

How to Prepare for a Successful Quit

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The first and most important thing to remember before you start to plan your quit? Everyone’s different. What works for one person may not work for another, and what’s easy for some is hard for others.

But it’s also important to remember that just because you were unsuccessful in the past doesn’t mean that you will be this time. If you fancy getting all philosophical about it, let’s hark back to ancient Greece, where Heraclitus observed that “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.”

Your smoking habits and history, your family and friend network, your work, your age, your past quit attempts, your relationship with your GP, the weather, the time of year, whether you’ve got a holiday coming up, whether it’s a Monday or a Friday – all of this and more can be a factor in your success.

So before you start, take time to really understand your smoking habit by being honest with yourself. Some of these questions may help you on your way – you may even find it helpful to write the answers down:

  • What is it you most enjoy about smoking?
  • What is it you most dislike?
  • Are there particular situations where you want a cigarette?
  • What are they?
  • Can you avoid them for a couple of weeks?
  • When you say you smoke “about ten a day”, is that really “about ten”, or is it more like 15?
  • How much nicotine does your brand have?
    • How much does that mean you’re taking in per day?
    • Could nicotine replacement treatments actually increase the amount of nicotine you’re taking in?
  • If you’ve tried giving up smoking before, what approaches did you take?
    • What time of year/week/day was it?
    • What made you give up on giving up?
    • What can you do to avoid that happening again?

Next, give some time to think through why you want to quit. Again, the reasons vary person to person, and may be complex. Health, family, cost? Whatever you’re thinking, write it down. Keep this with you on your quitting journey – for some people, their own words can prove a powerful reminder.

Now you know why you smoke and why you want to quit, it’s time to find the best solution for you. Check out our interactive quit planner for guidance, and check the tips and articles throughout this site. For more tailored guidance, speak to a healthcare professional, or make use of the many services available through the NHS. Use all these resources to pick the quit method you think will best suit you.

Finally, set yourself a quit date, keep your reasons for quitting at the front of your mind, and start your quitting journey. Welcome to the smoke-free world!

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