New Year’s tips for kicking the smoking habit
A new year and a promise to your lungs? Here are some practical tips for giving up smoking for 2022 and beyond!
I was speaking to a friend who told me that giving up smoking saved her $500 a week. I just about fell over - $500 extra dollars a week that’s a pretty good reason to kick the habit. Imagine what that money could go towards instead, a new kitchen, a new car, a family holiday, even towards a house deposit. If you can save $500 a week, that’s an extra $26,000 a year - after tax too, so it’s half an average salary!
And with that, here is Tip number 1:
- Find your reason why – is it to save money, for your health, for your children or mokopuna? Whatever your driving reason – find a one-liner to describe it - post it somewhere you will see everyday, repeat it to yourself whenever you are tempted to pick up a ciggy - make it your personal mantra:
There are many options to support giving up cigarettes, nicotine patches, nicotine vapes, nicotine lozenges and gums. There are also support groups. A great option is to take up activities that take your mind off the cravings - mediation, walking, gardening, a renovation project – whatever works. This brings up Tip number 2:
- Prepare – get your choice of nicotine replacements, write down your distraction activities and find your support group (online or in your community).
Most smokers have routines associated with smoking, it might be that you have a smoke first thing in the morning, you might smoke when you have a cup of tea. Watch yourself over the next few days and write down your habits, then write down what you will replace them with – an apple with your cup of tea? A walk first thing in the morning? This brings up Tip number 3:
- Replace your habits - it takes a few weeks to build new habits, so be really conscious about this, when you are in a certain routine, it requires an active brain to change it up. Be in the moment and consciously build new habits.
Tackling a large challenge requires a mix of preparation, small steps and keeping the vision. Sometimes along the path, we falter, we second-guess our commitment and we are tempted to throw it all in.
It’s really important to forgive yourself when things go wrong and get back on the horse. It’s also important to celebrate small milestones. This brings us to Tip number 4.
- Celebrate, even the small milestones - the first couple of weeks are a big challenge, staying on the wagon is also a challenge. Celebrations don’t need to be expensive – a walk on the beach, a batch of cupcakes, a movie or a magazine subscription. When you choose these, recognise them as celebrations, feel good and smile – well done!
Giving up smoking can feel overwhelming, you might have tried and failed on many occasions before. Interestingly though, the very day you stop smoking, your body will start to make changes. We wrote about what happens in your lungs when you give up smoking in a previous blog (read here).
In that blog we described cutting edge scientific research which shows that in a smoker’s lungs there are many mutated cells, but some cells avoid mutation, existing as if they were in “a nuclear bunker.”
When someone quits smoking, these healthy cells grow and replace many of the damaged cells in the lungs. Basically, our lungs have an almost “magical” ability to repair damage caused by smoking – but only when we stop! So here is our final tip - Tip number 5.
- Imagine your healthy bunker cells – tucked away in your lungs waiting to grow and regenerate new, healthy cells. With every day you don’t smoke these beautiful, pink healthy cells are producing more pink healthy cells.
People ask us why we use so much pink at Zestt Wellness, pink logos, pink labels. Well, it’s not because we want to target women, it’s because in lung terms, pink means healthy – a nice, pink complexion means lots of oxygen in your blood stream, lovely pink lungs means healthy cells. There is meaning behind the phrase “in the pink of health,” so we celebrate pinkness every day and so should you.
In summary, here are our 5 Tips:
- Find your reason why.
- Replace your habits.
- Celebrate even the small milestones.
- Imagine your healthy bunker cells starting to regenerate.
If you need any extra moral support in giving up smoking, Darcy and I are your cheerleaders – not pretty to imagine I know, but we really are behind you in your journey to be in the pink!
All our very best wishes,
Darcy and Anna.
Buy our new, highly efficacious EXhale® lozenges here to really make your lungs pink and healthy!