5 tips for quitting cigarettes

Thinking about quitting? It’s one of the best choices you can make, but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy one. We asked an expert for their top tips to boost your chance of butting-out once and for all.

This content is sponsored by Allen Carr's Easyway To Stop Smoking

Thinking about quitting? It’s one of the best choices you can make, but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy one. We asked an expert for their top tips to boost your chance of butting-out once and for all.

Expert advice

When you’re trying to quit smoking you’re not just tackling a physical addiction – you’re attempting to change your thought patterns as well. People struggle to quit because of their perception that they’re gaining something from smoking, even though that’s an illusion.

We gathered some sage advice about kicking the habit once and for all from Natalie Clays, director and therapist at Allen Carr’s Easyway (and an ex-smoker herself). Allen Carr’s Easyway has been helping smokers quit for more than three decades with a 90% success rate.

Set a firm quitting date

Once you’ve set a date, carry on smoking as normal right up to that day. Don’t try and cut down beforehand, because that’s just going to make cigarettes seem more precious. Try to be aware of each cigarette that you smoke in the lead up to the cut off day and ask yourself, what exactly am I getting from this? Notice that your pulse and heart rate increase when you light up, it’s the opposite of relaxation.

Recognise that smoking is the cause of discomfort (not the solution)

When it comes to smoking, it’s how you feel when you’re not doing it that’s the problem. When you’re not doing it, you feel empty, insecure, agitated, and anxious. All these feelings are caused by smoking, not relieved by them. It’s like wearing a pair of shoes that are too small, so that you can experience the relief of taking them off. When you light up a cigarette, you’re feeling how a non-smoker feels – back to normal. This is the crux of the illusion of pleasure that we think a cigarette gives us.

Make your When you decide to quit, set a date to embark on your new smoke-free life.

Understand that smoking is 99% mental

Don’t avoid smokers or social situations – this implies that you’re making a sacrifice rather than getting free of a drug addiction. Instead, try to watch how smokers behave. Notice how anxious and agitated they look when they can’t smoke and recognise that cigarettes are the cause.

Avoid substitutions

Avoid any form of substitution. If you replace cigarettes with chocolate, you may gain weight and be miserable. Even the use of seemingly innocent substitutes like carrots or celery sticks will create and perpetuate a feeling of deprivation. Remember, you’re not giving anything up – you’re getting rid of smoking. Looking for a replacement would be like getting rid of a terrible cold and wanting to replace it with the flu.

Anticipate the reward

Look forward to stopping smoking. Rather than assuming you are going to feel deprived and miserable – focus on finally being freed from smoking.

This article is brought to you by Allen Carr’s Easyway, the quit smoking program that changes the way you think about cigarettes. AIA Vitality members can access these seminars at a 30% discount off retail price and, once completed, can claim up to 70% cash back.
Disclaimer:
The information in this article is general information only and is not intended as financial, medical, health, nutritional, tax or other advice. It does not take into account any individual’s personal situation or needs. You should consider obtaining professional advice from a financial adviser and/or tax specialist, or medical or health practitioner, in relation to your own circumstances and before acting on this information.