EVERY year 13,000 Scots die from smoking-related illnesses.
As smoking is a major, and yet the most preventable, cause of ill-health and premature death in Scotland, the Scottish Government is committed to reducing the prevalence of smoking amongst Scotland’s adults.
Results show that these efforts continue to make an impact. There were nearly 80,000 quit attempts made or quit dates set in 2010, an increase of eight per cent on the previous year. However, despite the steadily increasing volume of quit attempts, less than half of these attempts are likely to stay quit at one month after their ‘quit date’.
If you are one of these smokers who has recently quit smoking and are looking for some support to help you stay quit, remember that you are up to four times more likely to be stopped smoking a month later if you use a combination of stop smoking pharmacy products and stop smoking services, compared to going it alone.
By calling Smokeline for free on 0800 848484, trained advisers are on hand to provide you with support and advice on staying quit for good.
Likewise, if you’re only at the stage of considering an attempt to quit smoking, then Smokeline can find the help that’s the right match for you.
So if your willpower needs help from a patch or two, for example, you can find out what might suit you best. They can also point you in the direction of experienced, knowledgeable people who can give you a bit of support and encouragement.
Whether you’re a first time quitter or you’ve tried several times before, there are many ways to help you stop smoking and a way to suit every lifestyle.
This could include local stop smoking sessions, one to one support, products such as patches and gum, local pharmacy support and the www.canstopsmoking.com support website.
Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said: “Giving up smoking is the biggest single thing anyone can do to improve their health but you’re more likely to succeed if you get help, rather than relying on willpower alone.
“There’s a huge range of support available - from face-to-face or online to nicotine replacement therapy and group classes - and Smokeline can help you find the quit method that’s right for you.”
If you’re ready to quit smoking, call Smokeline for free on 0800 848484 to find the best quitting method that’s right for you.
In the meantime, here are 10 top tips to help you start thinking about quitting smoking for good.
1. Before you stop smoking, keep a diary over a couple of days of every cigarette you smoke, including when and where you smoked it and how it made you feel. Looking at this diary will help you see potential danger points when it will be hardest not to smoke. Plan how you will cope with these.
2. Set a quit date. A quit smoking date helps you prepare mentally to stop smoking. Be realistic about what will test your willpower the most. You can use the quitting calendar on canstopsmoking.com to draw your own action plan.
3. Change your routine. If you always have a cigarette in the morning with a coffee, switch to fruit juice instead. When giving up smoking, it is worth giving alcohol a miss for a few days until your resolve is strong enough to resist the association of drinking with smoking/
4. Start afresh. Before your quit date, get your teeth cleaned and start using whitening toothpaste and mouthwash. Keeping your breath fresh and your teeth white can be an incentive not to smoke.
5. Remember that the physical cravings will pass. The urge to smoke lasts for a couple of minutes and you might find it helps to take deep breaths until the feeling starts to subside. Cravings get weaker after four or five days.
6. Find a substitute like sugar-free chewing gum. Chew on a toothpick if you miss having something in your mouth. Fiddle with a pen or paper clip to keep your hands busy.
7. Think positive. It’s a good idea to write a list of the reasons why you want to stop and put it somewhere you can easily see it.
8. Do something else. Try and find a hobby or other activity that makes smoking difficult or which takes place somewhere you can’t smoke. The enjoyment of doing something new and interesting will help keep your mind off quitting.
9. Watch the money add up. A big benefit of quitting smoking is that you’ll be better off in the pocket. Cross off each day on a calendar and write down how much you’ve saved by not smoking. Visit www.canstopsmoking.com and try our Cost Calculator to see how the savings can add up.
10. Reward yourself. Plan a celebration each month on the anniversary of your quit date. Buy some of the things on your list or treat yourself to a special meal with the money that you’ve saved.