5 ex-smokers reveal their secrets to success

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We asked people who’ve kicked the habit to share their stories

By Tom Ward

Beginning your journey to quitting cigarettes? You aren’t alone. We asked five ex-smokers to share what helps keep them on the path to a smoke-free and healthier existence.

  1. ‘I feel mentally lighter’

‘Knowing you’re addicted to something that’s so disgusting and bad for you is its own torture. I’ve tried to quit before but always struggled. Then I read an article about the massive impact, and health issues, smoking can have for someone with diabetes.

‘My sister is diabetic, so I decided to be an example and not a hypocrite. Now I’ve replaced smoking with walking and baking.’ Kate, Reading

Did you know?

According to the NHS, second-hand smoke can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke and lung cancer by up to 30%. Quit the habit, though, and the risk can decrease.

Your own health will benefit too; according to the World Health Organisation, the carbon monoxide levels in your lungs will drop within 12 hours, while both circulation and lung functionality will start to recover in two to 12 weeks.

  1. ‘Smoking alternatives helped me stay strong’

‘I was a social smoker, but it impacted my work life and days and evenings out. I felt like I couldn’t go and have a drink without having something in my hand or something else to do.

‘I tried using Nicotine Replacement Therapy in the form of a spray and it filled that void. Now I don’t feel that social pressure to fit in.’ Tarquin, Leicester

Did you know?

In England, someone quits smoking every 80 seconds, with many smokers relying on willpower alone. Despite this, only 3% of quitters manage to stay on track. Using Nicorette® QuickMist SmartTrack can increase your chances of quitting by up to 150% compared to willpower alone.

  1. ‘Exercise made a big difference to me’

‘I never had a huge 20-a-day habit, but I always knew in the back of my mind that it wasn’t good for my body. My partner quit two years ago, so I knew it was possible and felt confident my mind was stronger than the addiction.

‘I finally decided to quit one day, and with the help of NRT and a new love of golf, I’ve stayed cigarette-free. I feel so much healthier and happier.’ Jane, Tunbridge Wells

Did you know?

A study published in the Journal of Women’s Health found that women who practised yoga twice-weekly were far more likely to quit smoking than those with a less rigid approach to health and fitness.

In other words, creating goals in other areas of your life will help your stop-smoking plans.

  1. ‘I’ve found other ways to chill out’

‘I used to smoke to relieve stress but eventually realised it wasn’t necessary. I’ve been smoke-free for four weeks now, and walk around 5-10k a day to keep fit, which helps.

‘I realised that most of my stress is held as tension within my body, so I see an acupuncture therapist once a week. We refocus my body and mind and it’s so much better than a quick fix – I feel energised and have finally learnt how to relax.’ Rachael, Guildford

Did you know?

Smokers may say that cigarettes help them to relax. Unfortunately, smoking can increase anxiety and tension. Alongside the effects on your health and the cost, the NHS has found that smokers are far more likely to develop depression. Quitting can help improve your mood and reverse the symptoms.

  1. ‘I have so much more energy now’

‘Quitting smoking has positively affected my fitness, vital capacity, sense of smell and taste, and overall wellbeing almost immediately.

‘The hardest part for me was to break subconscious habits, like not lighting a cigarette when leaving the house or waiting for a bus. Forming new habits, like chewing gum, helped me as a distraction.

‘But the most important thing was my fundamental wish to live a healthier and more balanced life. Yoga, sports and paying more attention to a better diet added to this process.’ Freddy, Newcastle

Did you know?

It can be difficult to stay on track, but there are ways to give yourself a helping hand. According to a study review carried out by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, ‘behavioural support’ is a great way to encourage your progress.

Using the Nicorette® QuickMist SmartTrack with the Nicorette® app will provide you with a craving relief spray and behavioural support app. The app offers a quit smoking programme, will track money saved along the way, and recommend content to encourage you to stay on track when your resolve is slipping.

Net Doctor

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