5 Tips to Stop Smoking from an Ex-Smoker

Posted on February 14, 2019 by Eleanor McKenzie
cigarettes arranged in letters to spell stop

There’s no single way to approach quitting smoking. Every smoker has a personal ‘relationship’ with the addictive habit, and this needs to be remembered when you plan how to give up for good.

There’s a wealth of information found on the NHS website with tips to help you stop smoking. From a downloadable app with advice on the range of tools available, as well as face-to-face or online advice, there are many options available to make one of the most challenging tasks a smoker faces into one where success is achievable.

Today, I’m going to talk you through my experience as an ex-smoker and how I finally quit the habit for good, before I go on to looking at the top tips from ‘stop smoking’ experts…

1. My experience with hypnotherapy

I used hypnotherapy and it worked very effectively for me.

Perhaps that’s because I believe in hypnotherapy and have used it effectively for other things.

What I found to be the most helpful tool was the therapist asked me to keep a smoking journal for two weeks before my first session.

In this journal, I wrote down how I felt about every cigarette I smoked. When I had finished the journal, it was clear that only one or two cigarettes of the day were actually a pleasure to smoke. That knowledge, combined with three hypnotherapy sessions, did the trick.

I know that hypnotherapy may not be the solution for everyone. So, let’s look at other approaches and tips that are known to bring success.

2. Make a plan

Planning for success is very important.

Think through and write down how you want to take the challenge, what tools you will use and when, and how you might cope with those situations that trigger the need to smoke.

For example, if you’re invited out for dinner and drinks in the first week of stopping, how will you deal with it? Most smokers know that alcohol and cigarettes tend to go hand in hand.

The American Lung Association has eight excellent tips to incorporate into your plan, including reorganising your daily routine to avoid your usual smoke breaks.

3. Read books or attend a workshop

Many people have benefited from Allen Carr’s The Easy Way to Stop Smoking.

His method is available in book format, online seminar and face-to-face workshops.

According to the website, over 30 million people worldwide have stopped smoking by using his system.

4. Find a support group or ‘quit buddy’

Having others to talk to, whether it is a group meeting, or one person, can give you the much-needed inspiration you need to keep going.

You can find a group at this NHS website for local stop smoking services.

5. Try something new

I took up crochet again during the first few weeks of quitting.

It gave me something to do with my hands. A creative project, or a new exercise routine will help you feel even better and improve your health.

Quitting is also a good time to clear out all your smoking paraphernalia and clean out the smell of smoke from your home furnishings.

Above all, be patient with yourself and don’t give in to self-blame or feelings of guilt while you’re on this mission.

If you slip-up, don’t see it as a failure; pick yourself up and start stopping again!

Eleanor McKenzie

by Eleanor McKenzie

Eleanor McKenzie is a Northern Irish writer with a passion for art, literature, and red wine. She's worked at advertising agency JWT, edited a journal for a European social policy think tank and tried to teach teenagers the difference between "there" and "their". Being 50+ has not significantly changed Eleanor's life, although she finds it a handy excuse when she wants to avoid anything too energetic.