11:50 19 April 2005
Giving up smoking is a big step, so try these tips from other smokers who have given up successfully.
Set a goal each day to make it through without smoking
If you tell yourself you're quitting for good it may be too overwhelming to think about. So promise "I won't smoke today" and you'll be amazed at how much that helps you through. The key is to take one day at a time.
Stay away from your triggers
Coffee, tea and alcohol are well-known triggers for smokers. So if you find they weaken your resolve, avoid them completely or drink fruit juice, water or decaffeinated versions instead. Tip: If you're tempted to smoke, try drinking grapefruit juice - it makes cigarettes taste disgusting.
One of the great side-effects of stopping smoking is the extra money. It can soon build up and even be equal to a decent pay-rise. So treat yourself to a CD, some perfume, clothes, a magazine subscription, or how about putting the extra money aside each week for a holiday? It's good to have something to show for your efforts and it will spur you on.
Well done, the start of a better life! By the end of today, your blood pressure will have returned to normal and the carbon monoxide will have been eliminated from your body. Remember to breathe deeply through a craving and drink lots of water.
After two days nicotine is no longer detectable in the body. Withdrawal symptoms are likely to peak today and tomorrow so keep really focused and determined. Remind yourself that your skin is getting warmer and that your sense of taste and smell are improving.
You may go through the worst period of withdrawal today but be strong and remind yourself that once this is over, symptoms gradually decrease and fade away. In three weeks time, physical withdrawal should be a thing of the past. Keep busy, keep focused.
You may be feeling restless and empty. This is your body craving nicotine and it is easy to confuse with physical hunger. Drink as much water as you can and keep healthy snacks to hand. Try going for a quiet walk in the park or going to the gym for a workout.
By now, your breathing will be easier, your skin and eyes should be clearer and you should already feel your energy levels improving. Try and get into the habit of relaxing, morning and night, using a relaxation technique.
Sleeping patterns should return to normal. You may find you have a sore throat and are coughing more than usual as your lungs do their job and reject the tar and debris that has accumulated over the years.
Blood vessels all over your body are beginning to open up again and your circulation is starting to improve. It will continue to do so for the next few months and your energies will quickly rise.
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