Quit Smoking This World No Tobacco Day.

May 31 is World No Tobacco Day, which aims to raise awareness about the dangers of tobacco use. This year’s theme is ‘Commit to quitting’, and if you’re a smoker, there’s no better time than today to quit smoking.

When you quit smoking, you will enjoy many immediate benefits for your health, finances and personal well-being. You will also reduce your risk of 16 cancers caused by tobacco. The results are worth it and there is a lot of support available.

Ready to quit smoking? See our top five tips to help you.

1. Understand withdrawal symptoms

You may feel withdrawal symptoms if you stop smoking. They are a sign that the nicotine is leaving your body, healing your body and you are getting healthier.

Withdrawal symptoms usually last two weeks and will eventually pass. Here are ideas for dealing with common withdrawal symptoms.

Feeling restless, tense or angry

  • Take a deep breath
  • Do some relaxation exercises
  • Go for a walk, do something physical
  • Listen to music or take a bath

Struggling to sleep

  • Relax
  • Listen to music
  • Drink a hot, milky drink
  • Exercise during the day

Feeling sad

  • Relax
  • Go for a walk, do something physical
  • Do something fun for yourself
  • Reach out to friends or family

Constipation or diarrhea

  • Drink 8-10 cups of water every day
  • Eat more fruits, vegetables and grains

Struggling to concentrate

  • Make lists
  • Divide tasks into small pieces and do them one by one, with breaks in between

Increase in appetite and weight gain

Cough or tightness in your throat

  • Water drink
  • Suck on a throat lozenge
  • Give it time because it will make it easier

2. Focus on the benefits of quitting

Stopping will test your willpower. Work out the reasons for quitting what is important to you and remind yourself to motivate yourself.

  • Once you quit smoking, your risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease decreases. You will feel healthier and have more energy, and you will breathe easier.
  • You will feel more in control.
  • If you have children, you can set a good example for them and reduce the chances of them smoking.
  • The money you save by not smoking will add up.

3. Use Nicotine Replacement Therapy Products That Can Help You Quit Smoking

Some people may choose to go ‘cold turkey’, but it may not suit everyone. Consider nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) which releases small doses of nicotine and reduces withdrawal symptoms and cravings for cigarettes.

NRT products come in the form of patches, chewing gum, lozenges, sprays and inhalers, and are available over the counter and on prescription.

4. Look at yourself as you stop

Look at your physical and emotional health. Get plenty of sleep, eat well and do some exercise.

Take one day at a time and give yourself rewards and encouragement. Plan an enjoyable activity for each day to give yourself something to look forward to.

Your mind is going to convince you to smoke.

The way you think affects how you feel and act. If you slip, you may feel guilty and want to give up. If you slip, remind yourself that it’s simple it is and go back to your normal plan. Slipping up does not make you a smoker again.

5. Get support

You are not alone when you quit, because there are support services to help you break the habit.

Talk to your GP because they can talk to you about any of your smoking cessation concerns. They can advise on and prescribe medication to help you quit smoking. If you are taking medication, your GP will also advise you to adjust them when you stop smoking.

For free and confidential information and advice, call NSW Quitline on 13 4878 (13 QUIT). You can talk to a professional telephone counselor who will provide resources and support to help you quit. Calling Quitline doubles your chances of quitting.

You can also get a free Quit Kit from iCanQuit. It has resources with facts, ideas and tips to help you quit smoking. You can order a set by mail or download it online.

There are many approaches to quitting smoking. If you are not sure which one is right for you, talk to your GP. You may need to practice quitting several times before giving up. Keep trying and do not give up.

For more information on quitting smoking: