Top 10 tips to help you quit smoking

Tired of trying to kick the habit? Weary of not being able to ditch the cigarettes?

Dr Paul Kavanagh is a public health specialist with the HSE. Here are his 10 top tips to help you on your way to a healthier you.

Prepare to quit: Take a moment to write down your reasons for quitting. Keep them close to hand or even stick them on your fridge as a reminder to stay strong.

Make a date to quit: Picking a date and sticking to it is essential.

Get help from your friends: Supportive friends, family and even work colleagues will make all the difference to you on your journey.

Change your routine and habits: Do you normally have a cigarette with a coffee or tea? Then change your routine. Have a cup of water instead or hold your cup in the other hand - these simple changes can make a real difference.

Get active: When you quit you may notice you have more time on your hands, so take some time out for activities that you enjoy or try out some new ones.

Think positive: Remember, it is never too late to quit. Take it one day at a time. Say, today I am not doing to smoke, tomorrow is another day.

Watch your money grow: Stick the money that you would otherwise spend on cigarettes in a glass jar so that you can watch it build. You will be surprised at how quickly it all adds up, and this should give you some inspiration to stay going.

Keep check on cravings: Your craving for nicotine will peak at three to five minutes and will pass if you deal with them. If you can hold them off for that time the urge will pass.

Watch what you eat: Do ‘a quick-fix shop’ to include foods such as fruit and crackers. These are taken to satisfy the ‘hand to mouth action’.

Get support: QUIT is an organisation dedicated to helping people knock cigarettes on the head. Get support from the QUIT team. The service is free of charge and available to everyone.

Visit www.QUIT.ie where you can sign up for daily emails or SMS support to help you keep track, once you have set up your own personalised plan.

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