Quitting smoking may be one of the resolutions at the top of your mind as 2022 begins.
Kicking the habit is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions and no easy thing.
A new government campaign has been launched to motivate parents to quit given new research on how their smoking habits can influence their kids.
Experts warned that teens are four times as likely to take up smoking if their parents or caregivers smoke.
Young teens whose parents smoke are also twice as likely to have tried cigarettes.
Whether or not you’re a parent, the largest age group of smokers is people aged 25 to 34 at 19 per cent.
If you are one of the estimated 6.9 million smokers in the UK and looking to quit, read on.
Seven tips on how to quit smoking this year
1. Make a plan
It sounds simple, but making a plan and sticking to it is harder than it seems.
NHS Scotland recommends planning ahead to stop smoking on a specific day.
“If you stop smoking for just a month, you’re already on track to stopping smoking for good,” says NHS Scotland.
“Pick a time when you aren’t too stressed. Take one step at a time, give yourself small goals, and don’t think too far ahead.”
2. Find your reason to quit smoking
It’s never too late to quit, says family GP Dr Nighat Arif.
Dr Arif advised: “Stopping smoking is one of the best things you will ever do for your health, and it’s never too late to quit.
“If you want to quit smoking for your family or for your own health this January, you’re not alone.”
Health minister Maggie Throup hopes the research will be an extra push for parents.
She said: “We know that many people make a quit attempt in January, and while there are so many good reasons to stop smoking for yourself, we hope that this new campaign – by highlighting the inter-generational smoking link with parents influencing their children – will be the added motivation many need to ditch the cigarettes for good this year.”
3. Talk to your GP for possible aids
There are smoking treatments and medications that can help you quit the habit.
Nicotine is addictive and the NHS recommends giving yourself a better chance at success by combining medication and support.
“You’re much more likely to succeed with the help of nicotine replacement therapy and the support of a local smoking cessation group,” writes NHS Scotland.
Speak to your GP or an NHS stop smoking adviser for advice.
4. Tell your family and friends
Your support system can lend moral support and help keep you accountable.
Knowing that you’ve shared your goal helps keep you on course.
Quitting at the same time as a friends or family member can strengthen the both of you.
Did you know you can keep up to date with the latest news by signing up to our daily newsletter?
We send a morning and lunchtime newsletter covering the latest headlines every day.
We also send coronavirus updates at 5pm on weekdays, and a round up of the week’s must-read stories on Sunday afternoons.
Signing up is simple, easy and free.
You can pop your email address into the sign up box above, hit Subscribe and we’ll do the rest.
Alternatively, you can sign up and check out the rest of our newsletters here.
5. Avoid cravings
Avoiding cravings can sound like something impossible, but it helps to be mindful of things that may cause cravings.
Steering away from situations where you’d typically smoke, like certain social events and places, can help you stick to the plan.
5. Ride the mood swings
Feeling a gauntlet of emotions as you quit smoking is par for the course.
One withdrawal symptom of nicotine are mood changes, but they will get better after a week or two, says the CDC.
Likewise, the NHS Smokefree campaign says feeling ‘moody’ is normal, but ‘worth it’.
7. Using the many resources in Scotland
There are several ways to find support in your community.
In Scotland, Quit Your Way Scotland is an advice and support service for anyone trying to stop smoking. The service can connect you with a stop smoking advisor.
Find more information about Quit Your Way Scotland here.
Local help for people in Scotland includes pharmacy services, together with group or one-on-one support here.
People living in Scotland can request a ‘quit pack’ from NHS Scotland with two booklets of advice here.
Find all the resources from NHS Scotland on stopping smoking here.
There’s also the NHS Quit Smoking app to help your process here.