Five ways to help give up smoking
The new year is traditionally a time when many people aim to ditch their cigarettes once and for all.
A fresh start as the calendar flips into January is something many of us contemplate carrying out.
NHS Borders' smoking awareness service has compiled its five top tips to help anyone contemplating such a lifestyle change.
It says the positive impact of quitting can be "almost instant" and is also long-lasting and far-reaching.
Here is the advice, in their words, on how to kick the habit.
Get support from an NHS Stop Smoking Service - you don't need to do this on your own
It can be hard to stop smoking for many reasons.
It is not just a matter of deciding to do it - sometimes there are other things that can make it difficult to cut cigarettes out of your life.
And sometimes you need more than just willpower to make sure you can stick to a smoke-free life.
NHS Stop Smoking Services are free and are offered in a variety of local places including:
- Community pharmacies and chemists
- Specialist stop smoking services available in your local GP surgery
Being supported by a knowledgeable and qualified person to give you support and using a product such as Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) means that you are four times more likely to succeed in stopping smoking.
You don't have to quit on the day you see an advisor and they will help you prepare to quit, cope with withdrawals and prepare for difficult situations.
You can do it with their support.
List your reasons for quitting. Put it on the fridge, near the phone or in the car
Whatever your age, however long you've been a smoker, you'll start feeling better.
In fact, some of the benefits of stopping smoking are almost instant.
It won't take long before your heart can pump more blood around your body more easily. And that means more oxygen.
When you quit, your body will thank you for it. You'll find your breathing improves, you're less likely to get colds and flu and you'll find physical activity much easier.
Think about times you've not smoked in the past
What helped? What did you do not to smoke? Try to make use of that experience.
Save up the money you'll save from not buying cigarettes and treat yourself to something special
Ever thought about how much smoking really costs you?
You might be surprised at how much you could save. Think about it, though.
Smoke an average 20-a-day, and every year you'll smoke 7,300 cigarettes.
At that rate, even cheaper brands of cigarettes cost £2,555 every year - and that could easily be the price of a holiday.
Think how much you could save for your summer holiday if you stop smoking today with the help of an NHS Stop Smoking Service.
Remember the four Ds
Delay, Drink water, Do something else and Deep breaths.