The Secrets to Quitting Smoking for Good on World No Tobacco Day
With World No Tobacco Day on 31 May, it’s important for smokers to choose a quit smoking method that stacks the odds in their favour. Quit smoking specialist Steve Yorke, who helps people quit smoking every week, advises that “patches and drugs don’t work for most people. This is because the main cause of smoking is the mental habit. Slapping a patch on your arm or popping a pill isn’t going to help with this. Smokers need an approach that addresses the psychological habit”.
We are creatures of habit. Habits are formed through repetition and smoking is highly repetitive. Smoking is also psychologically linked to specific situations – after meals, with alcohol, stressful situations etc – which automatically trigger the psychological craving to smoke.
The best way to quit smoking is to get the help of a trained professional who addresses the mental habit. If you want to go it alone you’ll need to have a method for craving control and stress management as well as clearly knowing why quitting is important to you.
Firstly write a list of your most important benefits you expect from quitting. Keep this with you & remind yourself regularly. Knowing why this is important will help keep you motivated to do what it takes.
The trap with a craving is thinking that it will not stop when in fact cravings following a wave like pattern of rising and falling away. The key is to be able to allow this to occur. One way to do this is to use the power of breathing. This also doubles as a stress management method. Take a break, sit down and focus your attention on your breath while breathing in deeply and exhaling slowly. You can imagine the craving is like a wave that you are riding with your breath. The wave will rise and then crumble away. This is called ‘urge surfing’. As you are now not feeding the habit by smoking, it has the chance to die a slow death.
Steve says “The single most important factor to quitting smoking is to not let failed attempts stop you. Keep persisting and when the timing and method are right, success can be yours.”
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