5 Minute Coffee Break - Is Your “Why” Stronger Than Your "Why Not”?
Published at 24 March, 2022.
Knowing why you want to stop smoking is often the key to being successful in giving up. Reasons to quit are often due to health scares, long term health problems, or your doctor may have suggested you be referred to a Stop Smoking Service for help with quitting. There are many reasons why people decide to quit smoking and you may have several reasons yourself. You may also have reasons “why not” to quit which may be putting up barriers and preventing you from starting your quit attempt. Let's talk it over with a coffee and you'll soon see how your “whys” are always stronger and longer than your “why nots”
Making a simple list of your reasons to quit is often a great way to inspire and motivate you. Writing your list and keeping it where you can see it every day such as on the fridge, on the back door or on your desk at work, can help keep you motivated when you need it most
You may have listed reasons such as health, financial benefit, your partner would like it if you stopped smoking, doing it for your children, starting a family, or may be your reason is just because you don't like being tied to the habitual daily grind of wanting a cigarette. You may have reached a “big birthday” and know it is the right time for you to quit, as it marks a significant stage in your life.
Some of you who are Muslim may be thinking about quitting at Ramadan and would like help to quit whilst fasting because smoking voids or breaks the fast. Did you know that wearing nicotine replacement patches does not break the fast? Ramadan could be your reason why you want to quit and many people who quit at this time quit for good. If you are Christian you may have given up smoking for the period of Lent or contemplating quitting as you use this time as a period for self-reflection leading up to Easter. Everyone is different, and with different reasons of why`s and why not`s, but getting to know yours will help you make the choice not to smoke
Let's tackle your list of “why nots”. You may be concerned about withdrawal symptoms. What about the social implications if your friends continue to smoke and you do not? Maybe you are worried about coping with stress in your life if you stop smoking? Perhaps, you have been a smoker for a long time and cannot see the advantage of stopping now after all these years
Withdrawal symptoms do not last long and most decrease within the first few days and weeks of quitting. These symptoms are a sign your body is healing and repairing the damage caused by smoking and most can be helped by keeping hydrated, relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises, distraction and keeping busy. Do some simple exercise if you are able, such as walking or yoga. Maybe treat yourself to some time out and have a warm bath with some soothing lavender oil
When you stop smoking you will also be protecting your loved ones and friends. Making your home a smoke free environment protects your family and friends from passive smoking. Breathing in second hand smoke increases their risk of lung cancer, heart disease and stroke. Children are at double the risk of asthma, ear infections and other chest related illness if exposed to second hand smoke. If your friends and family smoke they may be inspired and encouraged by seeing you quitting smoking, and you can help them from your own experience with valuable hints and tips. Form a smoke free friends club where you can support, share and enjoy the benefits of being smoke free together. Relationships may change but in a better way than you thought
Stress can also be relieved by stopping smoking. Scientific studies show that peoples stress levels are lower when they stop smoking. Find better ways of dealing with stress and comfort yourself with something healthier than tobacco. Anxiety, depression and stress can all be reduced by stopping smoking and evidence shows that mental health is improved by quitting
The benefits to your health even after being a smoker for many years begin the minute you stop smoking. Within 20 minutes blood pressure returns to normal and within 1 hour circulation is improved so you'll feel warmer. In just a day your lungs will work better as carbon monoxide is removed from your body. Within 2 days your taste and smell improves. Within 6 months the risk of heart attack, cancer and other smoking related disease begins to fall. Breathing is easier, along with whiter teeth, sweeter smelling breath and an improvement in skin texture. Your sex life may be improved too, especially as you gain more blood flow and increased sensitivity
By now our “WHY” list is definitely longer and stronger than our “why nots”. We think yours will be too!
There are many ways we can help you stop smoking:
Quit online - https://yorkshiresmokefree.nhs.uk/pages/quit-online
Our online quit tool will allow you to create your own personal profile and will support you on a daily basis through your quit journey.
Telephone support - our advisors are on hand to answer any questions or provide additional support as you need it. You can call 0800 612 0011 (free from landlines) or 0330 660 1166.
Visit our frequently asked questions section to find out more: https://yorkshiresmokefree.nhs.uk/frequently-asked-questions