Giving up smoking: how to stick with it

If you made a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking, congratulations if you’ve managed to resist the urge to give in so far. However, giving up isn’t easy for most smokers, so don’t beat yourself up if you’re not exactly sailing through the experience.

There are lots of things you can do to keep your resolution strong until that day not too far into the future when you simply won’t want a cigarette at all.

First, when you get a craving, distracting yourself can help keep your mind off it. Here are the NHS’s top five distractions for people who are trying to quit:

  1. Talk to someone – call a friend or relative to get some support.
  2. Go for a brisk walk – this will help clear your head and lungs.
  3. Stay busy – download the Smokefree app or play a game on your mobile phone.
  4. Drink a glass of water or juice – keep yourself occupied for those crucial few minutes.
  5. Change the scene – just moving to another room can help, or step outside and get some fresh air.

Help is also available via effective treatments designed to make you cope more effectively with nicotine withdrawal symptoms.

Available on prescription and over the counter at many pharmacies, these treatments are called nicotine replacement therapies, and include patches, lozenges, gum, microtabs, inhalators and sprays, each designed to suit your lifestyle and the type of smoker you are. Just ask your local Careway pharmacist to help you decide which one would suit you best.

Find your nearest Careway pharmacy by using our Pharmacy Finder.

Meanwhile, the NHS Smokefree campaign also has lots of free support to help you quit, including a smartphone app, Quit Kit, email programme and text messages service, all of which may help keep you on track for a smoke-free future. Sign up today at