For many people, the new year comes as an opportunity to kick some old habits and start afresh.
From a health perspective, there truly is no better resolution than one focused on kicking cigarettes to the curb once and for all.
However, binning cigarettes for good is no easy task. Will power and support are essential. Here are some top tips to help you kick the habit this year:
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: 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.
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’.
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”.
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.