THE GOVERNMENT have once again cracked down on smoking with another ban against those little white cancer sticks.
With changes to the law comes opportunity for changes in a smoker's lifestyle.
Eight years following the 2007 smoking ban, which saw smokers banished from pubs, restaurants, hotels and, from 1 October anyone caught smoking in their cars with a child under 18 will be fined £50
...quite right too.
October also sees the start of Stoptober, the NHS supported scheme encouraging people to quit their vices over the next month. This year's motivational squad comes in the form of comedians Al Murray (pictured above), Shappi Khorsandi, Bill Bailey and Rhod Gilbert who have all created stop smoking videos (watch here)
To help you on your way Body Confidential has trawled through the reams of quitting advice to put together helpful tips to guide you on your way to a smoke-free lifestyle...
MAKE A PLAN
They say an organised life leads to an organised mind. Advice from the NHS and beyond all seems to begin with writing down the ways in which you intend to tackle your cravings. Having your goals down on paper can help sustain a focus - plus there's a sweet satisfaction from striking off the smoke free days in your diary.
TRY A RECOMMENDED STOP SMOKING BOOK
Two Confidential employees have combated their smoking addictions by reading Allen Carr's (no not the comedian) best selling book The Easy Way To Stop Smoking. The book, which has sold millions worldwide, provides simple quitting solutions and has been hailed as one of the best quitting aids. Former 10-a-day smoker Georgina Hague explained, " After listening to the audio books I stopped smoking for three months. Since then I had a few drunken slip-ups but I've been almost entirely smoke free for up to six months. I was sceptical about the book at first but I can't recommend it enough."
FIND LOCAL SUPPORT
Will nicotine replacement therapies really reduce my cravings? Are e-cigarettes really good for quitters? All questions that can be answered by organisations such as the Manchester Stop Smoking service. The NHS funded centre is free and the team are available to act as your motivational squad as times get tough.
Hynotherapy is used for all kinds of reasons, from losing weight to helping tackle a bad memory, and there is some research that suggests the practice can help reduce nicotine cravings. Stockport consultant hypnotherapist, Chris Holmes, says on his website Central Hypnotherapy: "Unlike tablets or nicotine replacement products, hypnotherapy shuts down the habit and the cravings simultaneously. No willpower is required to resist the urge to smoke because the urge is no longer there, making it really easy to stop. Best of all, you won’t be gaining weight or over-eating either."
FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO DO WITH YOUR HANDS
Idle hands make light work for the devil - so find them something to do. The NHS suggest 'putting a drink in the hand you used to smoke with and drinking with a straw to give your mouth something to do." Of course, Nicotine Replacement Therapies are big helps, the sweets, patches etc. can provide welcome relief from niggling cravings. Find out which therapy is best for you by speaking to your local GP.
Advice from WEBMD says once you've decided to quit it's time to throw out the ashtrays and get rid of that smokey smell from your home. 'Wash any clothes that smell like smoke and clean your carpets, draperies and upholstery. Use air fresheners to help rid your home of that familiar scent. You don't want to see or smell anything that reminds you of smoking.' Also don't forget to get rid of those lighters.
START SOMETHING NEW
It's likely that on the road to being smoke free you'll find a new and hopefully healthier obsession to replace the white stick. Research suggests exercise and creative projects are the best distractions.
AVOID YOUR TRIGGERS
The morning coffee and cigarette. The drunken ciggie. Every smoker has a trigger. Over the next month switch to tea and maybe avoid the boozy nights out for awhile.
GET A QUITTING BUDDY
Some friends are enablers - the 'let's have another drink' friend and the 'let's order the pizza instead of the salad' friend - but others can be exceptional motivators. Find another goal-orientated quitter who is hell bent on giving up the little white stick as much as you are.
'DON'T QUIT QUITTING'
When Mark Twain said, “giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I've done it thousands of times,” he was preaching to the choir. As we all know, humans are not infallible and chances are you've attempted to quit before and fell from the wagon after one weak moment. Stoptober is another opportunity to embark on the quitting journey. Slip-ups can happen but quitting quitting should never be an option.
For more information on Stoptober see here