– EN Fitness & Wellbeing – On Wednesday (13Mar19) many smokers will be trying to ditch the habit for at least 24 hours, as it is Britain’s No Smoking Day.
However, giving up is easier said than done, especially for longer than a day – so here are some top tips to help you quit cigarettes once and for all.
Advice from experts at Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) states that you should set a plan and date on how and when you are going to give up for good, and avoid situations which escalate your cravings. They also recommend making changes to your diet and drinking habits, as certain foods, like meat dishes, may induce cravings for an after dinner ciggie, while alcohol and fizzy drinks can also dampen the desire to quit.
Going cold turkey and giving up in one go is often impossible, with many people seeking help in the shape of anti-smoking aids.
As well as traditional nicotine replacement products such as nicotine patches and gum, more and more smokers are turning to vaping products and heated tobacco, a new delivery system that heats rather than burns the plant.
Even tobacco giants are now giving advice on how to quit, and Mark MacGregor, external affairs director at Philip Morris International, recommends joining up with friends who are also quitting, but advises switching to smokeless devices if you can’t give up.
“If you’ve tried to quit but you still continue to smoke, consider switching to smoke-free alternatives,” he told Cover Media. “If you can stop smoking cigarettes for four weeks you are five times more likely to give them up for good.”
Research commissioned by the firm claims that heated tobacco reduces the harmful chemicals inhaled by up to 90 per cent compared to smoking. However, health experts are more sceptical about the health benefits of heated tobacco compared to normal smoking products, and have emphasised that evidence shows that they may be as toxic to cells as traditional cigarettes.
“It took us nearly five decades to understand the damaging effects of cigarette smoke and we don’t yet know the long-term impact of using e-cigarettes,” Sukhwinder Sohal, a researcher studying lung cell damage at the University of Tasmania in Australia, told The Pharmaceutical Journal last month. “These devices that heat solid tobacco are relatively new and it will be decades before we will fully understand their effects on human health.”
As a result, it may be best to treat these new devices as a short-term fix to get you through the worst cravings, before working on a plan to quit altogether.