Published: 18 December 2020.
We all know that smoking is addictive, but lots of us will be unaware of what is really in each cigarette, and why it is so good for you to quit the habit.
Tobacco contains around 600 ingredients – nicotine is the main one most people will know out of these, but is relatively harmless.. You might not know, though, that other ingredients include those used in nail polish removers, household cleaners and batteries. When burned, cigarettes create more than 7,000 other chemicals which can cause cancer.
Needless to say, this chemical cocktail is incredibly hazardous for your health, and if you do successfully quit, there are numerous health improvements which start within days. These range from lower blood pressure and heart rate, to reduced fat around the waist, less scarring off the lungs, a reduced risk of mouth or tongue cancer, more oxygen available in blood and muscles, and more.
Quitting might seem very daunting if you’re a heavy smoker, but it is far from impossible. In fact, if you manage to stop smoking for 28 days, you’re five times more likely to quit for good. Check out some of these methods available to you in your journey to stop smoking. Some people find it easier to combine several of these techniques, and if one doesn’t stick the first time, it’s worth looking at it again later.
Quitting Smoking Options
Allen Carr’s cessation materials are well-known for their effectiveness in helping people to quit. Whether it’s a face-to-face or virtual seminar, either can change how you feel about smoking.
There are a number of prescription medicines which can help to treat nicotine addiction and reduce cravings, such as Champix or Zyban. A course of these lasts for around 8-12 weeks.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Nicotine replacement therapy, or NRT, can come in the form of a variety – or combination – of products such as gum, patches, inhaler or nasal spray for around 12 weeks. These can be purchased from your local pharmacy or prescribed by your GP.
NHS Smoke Free Service
The NHS Smoke Free website has a whole host of practical support options to help you quit smoking – you can arrange face-to-face support, or get help over email or on your phone.
E-cigarettes are becoming a more and more popular method to help with quitting smoking. Vaping is not, however, completely risk-free, but it is less risky than smoking. Many people use vaping to taper off their nicotine consumption slowly, and combined with expert psychological support it can be a really effective method of quitting smoking.
Quitting cold-turkey is a good test of your willpower. Many people find this to be an effective method for them, and if you combine it with a different cessation method you will have a better chance of success.
These aren’t your only options – there is a whole host of literature and methods on ways people have successfully quit their smoking habit. Many people find it helpful to combine these methods with a plan to quit, which they can hold themselves accountable to.
Have a look at our Vitality My Quit Plan here to see how a plan can help – setting a quit date and being more conscious of your emotional, everyday and social triggers to smoke, as well as coming up with methods to fight your cravings, can all be instrumental in helping you to successfully quit.
For more information about quitting, read our blog 10 surprising reasons to quit smoking.
As a Vitality member, you could save up to £299 on the Allen Carr Stop Smoking Programme. Available with eligible health insurance, life insurance and investments plans. Log in to Member Zone for the details.