Cigarettes have over 4,000 chemicals in them, with around 51 known to be carcinogenic. Some particularly unpleasant ingredients include tar (the same stuff used to cover roads), carbon monoxide (this comes out of car exhausts), acetone (nail polish remover) and formaldehyde which is used to preserve dead bodies. Still fancy a puff?
Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. It reduces your risk of many smoking related diseases, improves your general wellbeing and that of your family- and saves you money. For some quitting seems effortless, while for other it will be the hardest thing they ever do but help is there to keep you on the right path. The NSW Quitline is just one support service available if you’re thinking of kicking the habit, here are five tips that they suggest.
1. Set a quit date
For many smokers, setting a quit date helps to get things moving and there’s no time like the present. Don’t put it off until after that stressful house move, the 50th birthday party or a night out with friends. Draw a line right now and find and throw out all your cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays in your house, car and workplace.
2. Think about your triggers and change routines and habits Think about when and where you like to smoke. Is it after a schooner or a meal? How about with your morning coffee? Do you like to smoke socially with family or friends at home or when eating out? Figure out what starts your craving and change your habits. Early on, it’s best to avoid situations where you used to smoke.
3. Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake When cutting down or quitting smoking caffeine can have a stronger effect. Higher caffeine levels can make you feel more restless, increase anxiety or make sleeping difficult. The effects of higher caffeine levels can be confused with tobacco withdrawal symptoms. Plan to halve the amount of caffeine (coffee, tea, energy drinks and cola) that you drink.
4. Organise a quit support team
Decide who you will ask to give you support. Do you have friends, family and work mates who might encourage and support you? Ask them not to smoke around you and not to give you cigarettes even if you ask for them. If they’re a real mate, they’ll help. Talk to your doctor about using nicotine replacement therapy like patches and gums that can help deal with cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
5. Plan some rewards
A pack a day smoker will save around $6,400 a year if they don’t smoke. Think of how you can use the money you save. You can even put the money you save every week in a jar and watch as it fills up.
Call the Quitline on 13 7848 for support and encouragement before and during your quit attempt.