Don't Give Up Smoking On January 1st
If you are someone who doesn’t fall into the New Year Resolution trap, you might find this interesting.
Whether you give up, go cold turkey, or switch to vaping, set yourself up for success.
Why Should You Give Up Smoking?
Why give up smoking at all if it is something that you enjoy? There is a long answer to this and a short one.
The short answer is that it could kill you.
We know that’s a bit dramatic, but it’s very accurate. The World Health Organisation has been very clear about how damaging smoking is. It can cause several ailments and diseases, not least cancer. The bottom line is that smoking tobacco cigarettes can cause premature death.
The health issues surrounding smoking are the main reason to stop buying tobacco cigarettes. There are others, though, including the cost.
Cigarettes are costly and offer little return on investment. You buy them, and they go up in smoke. You need to buy another pack. With a packet of twenty tobacco cigarettes costing more than £10, it is clear how the monetary cost of smoking can be high!
Other benefits include enjoying vaping as a new hobby and the environmental benefits. Keep Britain Tidy have much to say about the amount of cigarette-related litter and how long it takes a cigarette butt to decompose.
By protecting others, we mean not being party to passive smoking. Smoking around non-smokers has been proven to be as dangerous to them as if they were smoking themselves.
This is partly why the Go Smoke-Free Legislation 2007 was pushed through so quickly and saw smoking bans at work, in many buildings such as cafes and pubs and on public transport. All good reasons to quit smoking are switching to vaping or going cold turkey.
The New Year Resolution Trap
We know that smoking is bad news. Is giving up the good news? Of course, it is. We don’t want you to fall into the New Year Resolution Trap!
You may not have heard this term before, but we’re sure you’ve experienced it or know someone who has. People change their lives every year on the first day of the new year.
They set themselves goals. Popular goals are quitting smoking, losing weight, going to the gym more, etc. The problem is the pressure that a New Year Resolution places on you.
Many people give up their new year goals by mid-January. The reason for this is that it is simply too much pressure. Choosing a specific date because everyone else has doesn’t necessarily mean it is the correct date for you.
This is why we suggest not giving up on 1st Jan. Choose another day that works for you and consider the switch to vaping.
Stopping Smoking is the Hardest Resolution to Keep
Numerous people start their quest to stop smoking as their New Year's resolution each year, motivated by a desire for a healthy, smoke-free future. The numbers, however, portray a sobering reality: stopping smoking is undoubtedly one of the hardest resolutions to keep. It takes tremendous willpower, support, and understanding of the challenges involved to overcome the physical, psychological, and societal barriers associated with quitting smoking.
The Physical Dependence
The difficulty of stopping smoking is significantly impacted by nicotine, the addictive ingredient in cigarettes. The body becomes dependent on nicotine, which causes withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop. These signs can include agitation and anxiety, strong cravings and trouble focusing. Physical dependence makes quitting smoking difficult because users must deal with their bodies' intense cravings for nicotine.
Beyond physical addiction, quitting smoking psychologically is a significant challenge. Smoking frequently involves a variety of feelings and circumstances, including stress, boredom, or socialising. Smokers may use cigarettes as a coping strategy or a comfort source, making quitting smoking extremely difficult. To overcome the psychological links between smoking and particular triggers, a significant mental change and the development of healthy coping mechanisms are necessary.
Absence of Rapid Results
The lack of immediate, obvious results is one of the most disappointing elements of quitting smoking. The benefits of quitting smoking take time to materialise, unlike other resolutions when progress may be immediately apparent. Due to this delay, individuals may become disheartened by the lack of noticeable changes in their health or well-being, which can cause dissatisfaction and a loss of desire.
Environmental and Social influences
Due to societal and environmental influences, quitting smoking is made more difficult. Smoking-related social interactions and settings can trigger and entice people to relapse. It might be challenging for people to stick to their resolution because of peer pressure, advertising, and the normalisation of smoking in some social groups.
Reasons Coronavirus May Have Contributed To Quitting Numbers
There are several reasons that smokers have been so keen to put away their cigarettes for good since the global pandemic was first announced. Here are just a few of these reasons in more detail.
The Social Aspect
A large part of smoking has often been described as the social aspect, where people enjoy smoking together. The lockdown had effectively squashed social interaction. When the lockdown began, UK residents were only allowed one hour of exercise daily and essential shopping (etc.).
A strict two-metre social distancing rule was implemented, and all public places, from pubs to cafes and non-essential shops, were closed.
Suppose the social aspect of smoking was a large part of why many smokers continued with the habit, despite the health risks. In that case, removing the opportunity to get together has removed the motivation to continue smoking for many.
Money Worries Halting Smoking Motivation
Smoking tobacco cigarettes is an expensive habit, costly. With many brands starting at more than £10 for a packet of twenty cigarettes (and some more), it is easy to see how the cost mounts up over time.
One of the reasons new vapers gave up the cigarette in favour of the e-cigarette is the significantly lower cost. Overall, for most people, vaping tends to be much more affordable than smoking.
As well as health worries, Covid 19 and the resulting lockdowns, loss of business, and furloughs have all affected people’s income.
This will no doubt be a deciding factor for many who had considered quitting before but needed the extra push and for those who simply don’t have the money to fund such an expensive hobby.
Tobacco smoking has also been proven to be harmful. WHO classifies the many chemicals contained within tobacco cigs as toxic and the act of smoking as very harmful to health, as having the potential to cause cancer and to cause premature death. Scary stuff. Everyone knows that Covid-19 hits the respiratory system hard and affects the body in other ways.
Anyone fearful for their health during these strange times will have had to assess whether smoking is worth the risk, especially with Coronavirus causing mayhem, and heightened health concern has likely resulted in many smokers giving up.
The UK government has reported that those who smoke are more at risk of more severe Covid-19 symptoms if exposed.
Smoking Is Still A Problem
University College London (UCL) reported that more smokers gave up in the first six months of 2020 than in any other year since they started tracking numbers in 2007.
This is great news. However, there are still too many smokers. Too many individuals at risk of health issues directly caused by smoking, at heightened risk of contracting respiratory issues, heart issues, strokes and more, are still choosing to light up.
Public Health England campaigns are ongoing, and ASH is launching another stop-smoking campaign targeting problem areas; geographical locations still report high numbers of smokers.
Over a million UK smokers have given up since the beginning of the Coronavirus crisis. With the UK Government making it clear that smokers are at a significantly higher risk of Covid-19 complications and a more severe bout, it is understandable.
Whatever the reasons, it is good to see people going smoke-free, whether they have quit altogether or switched to vaping.
But let’s talk more about the benefits if you decide to quit and maybe switch.
Why Vaping Is Beneficial To “Would-Be” Ex-Smokers
Anyone who has smoked and given up or tried to give up will tell you that it is challenging. It often takes more than willpower to quit successfully, despite what many might think.
When giving up tobacco cigarettes, you fight a battle on many sides. Nicotine withdrawal is just one aspect that makes giving up smoking hard.
Studies have shown that physical habits, such as having something in your hand, the inhale/exhale action, the relaxation it causes, and more, are all hard to kick too.
It sounds almost impossible to give up on paper, but that isn’t true. There are many tools to help you quit, but one which has proven very successful in recent years is the e-cigarette.
Switching to vaping will cost you much less in the long run, but it also helps you avoid the harmful effects of chemical-filled cigarettes.
As e-cigarettes help replace the physical aspects of smoking, such as the hand-to-mouth aspect, this lessens the amount of pleasure the smoker is giving up.
Nicotine is a big issue for many, so vaping can be an excellent tool for those looking to give up. When you switch from smoking to vaping, you can leave the nasty toxins behind but still enjoy nicotine within the e liquids that are heated to produce the flavoured vapour that is inhaled and exhaled.
Choose a nicotine level the same as you are used to, minimising or eradicating the craving that sends so many back to smoking.
Whether you quit on 1st January or another date, you can choose a nicotine level to suit you and reduce this over time down to no nicotine. Many vapers choose zero-nicotine e-liquids and thoroughly enjoy them.
Switching to an e-cigarette is the cleanest alternative to smoking, which Public Health England has hailed as being at least 95% less harmful than smoking.
Success rates for smoking cessation when e-cigarettes have been used have led to PHE lobbying the government to allow easier access to e-cigarettes and e-liquids by recognising e-cigs as medical devices so they can be given out on prescription.
Ways to Make it Easier to Stop Smoking at New Year’s
Many people make plans to improve their lives as the new year draws near, and giving up smoking frequently tops the list. Being smoke-free can be difficult, but it becomes more attainable with the proper support and methods.
Make Specific Goals
Setting definite, attainable goals is essential while trying to stop smoking. People can gauge their development and feel accomplished by setting attainable goals. Whether trying to quit smoking altogether or just cutting back on daily cigarettes, having clear goals gives focus and drive.
People who have a strong support system find it easier to stop smoking. Social activities with family, friends, or support groups can offer accountability, understanding, and encouragement. Additionally, getting expert assistance from medical professionals or smoking cessation programmes can give people practical tactics and resources that are suited to their requirements.
Think about Vaping
Traditional smoking has become less popular as people turn to vaping, which may provide a way to make quitting simpler. Using a vape device, nicotine is delivered as a vapour rather than the dangerous combustion products produced while smoking tobacco. By simulating the smoking experience, they treat both the physiological and psychiatric facets of addiction. The transition to nicotine-free vaping can be facilitated by gradually lowering the nicotine content of vape liquids, eventually assisting people in quitting smoking.
Make use of NRTs (Nicotine Replacement Therapies)
NRTs, including nicotine gum, tablets, patches, and nasal sprays, can effectively reduce withdrawal symptoms from quitting smoking. NRTs assist in managing the discomfort of nicotine withdrawal by delivering controlled dosages, which reduce cravings. Vaping and NRTs can provide a thorough strategy for progressively weaning off nicotine dependence.
Use constructive coping strategies.
Many people smoke to deal with stress, worry, or other emotional triggers. By learning healthy coping strategies like exercise, deep breathing exercises, or taking up a hobby, people can effectively manage cravings and lessen their need for smoking.
The Top Reasons to Quit Smoking
Smoking is a common habit that harms millions of people globally. Although giving up smoking can be difficult, there are numerous and extensive advantages.
Increased Longevity and Health
The enormous gain in health and life expectancy that comes with quitting smoking is the strongest argument in favour of doing so. Smoking harms almost all of the body's organs and raises the risk of respiratory disorders, coronary artery disease, stroke, and lung cancer. People can drastically lower these dangers by giving up and seeing a considerable improvement in their well-being.
Higher Levels of Fitness
Smoking reduces the capacity of the lungs and oxygen intake, limits endurance, and degrades general fitness, all impairing athletic performance. By allowing the body to rebuild and mend, quitting smoking helps to improve physical stamina, energy levels, and lung function. Smokers frequently find maintaining a regular fitness routine and an active lifestyle simpler.
Along with improving one's health, giving up smoking can also help one's financial condition. Smoking is a costly habit, and the price of cigarettes has risen dramatically. People who give up smoking can save a sizable sum of money that can be used for other essential requirements like education, travel, or investment purposes.
Safeguarding Loved Ones
Smoking harms the smoker and endangers others nearby who are exposed to secondhand smoke. Giving up smoking is a gesture of compassion and love towards loved ones, friends, and coworkers who might experience allergies, respiratory issues, or other health issues due to passive smoking. People who give up do so to improve the environment for everyone.
Providing a Good Example
The benefits of quitting smoking extend beyond the person and encourage and motivate others to do the same. Witnessing someone successfully stop smoking can inspire others to start their road towards a smoke-free life, whether they be friends, family, or coworkers. Quitting makes people strong change agents who can influence and improve the lives of those around them.
Why is it so hard to quit smoking?
For many, quitting smoking is difficult and sometimes fraught with difficulties and disappointments. Despite the well-known health dangers linked to smoking, the addictive nature of nicotine and several other reasons make it challenging for smokers to quit.
The chemical nicotine is a highly addictive synthetic present in cigarettes and plays a key role in the difficulty of quitting smoking. When nicotine is inhaled, it enters the brain quickly, causing dopamine to be released and a feeling of pleasure and relaxation. Addiction results from the brain's gradual dependence on nicotine to maintain a sense of normalcy. Because of this addiction, quitting smoking cold turkey is challenging because both the body and mind need nicotine.
The emergence of withdrawal symptoms is one of the main challenges after quitting smoking. The absence of nicotine causes the body to feel physically and psychologically uncomfortable when a smoker tries to stop. It might be challenging to resist the impulse to smoke due to symptoms like impatience, anxiousness, trouble concentrating, and powerful cravings. The intensity and length of withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on the person's smoking history.
Psychological and Habitual Factors
Smoking becomes embedded in a person’s everyday activities and way of life. It can be connected to various things, like socialising, decompressing, or a reward system. Due to its chronic nature, it might be difficult to break out of the habit and replace smoking with healthier alternatives. The psychological effects of smoking, such as the notion that cigarettes offer solace or serve as a coping strategy, can also make it more difficult to stop.
Social and Environmental Triggers
These factors can greatly impact a person’s ability to stop smoking. Rekindling desires and temptations might happen due to peer pressure, being around smokers, or being in situations where smoking is commonplace. Furthermore, people may smoke for comfort when experiencing emotional triggers like stress, anxiety, or boredom. When regularly exposed to these triggers, it can be extremely challenging to resist the impulse to smoke and keep a smoke-free lifestyle.
Lack of Resources and Support
Giving up smoking is difficult, and having a solid support network can make a big difference. Unfortunately, a smoker’s attempts to stop smoking may be hampered by the absence of support from family, friends, or medical experts. A successful cessation may also be hampered by limited access to services for quitting smoking, such as drugs, counselling, or behavioural therapies. Understanding the significance of a supportive atmosphere and easily accessible services is essential to boosting the likelihood of successfully quitting.
Support For Giving Up Smoking
Plenty of support is out there if you need extra support when quitting smoking, even if you opt to switch to vaping.
Much support is available from Stoptober groups to accountability pages online or classes in the real world. You can still use an e-cigarette and NHS Stop Smoking Services. If you want to stop smoking and need support, ask. The vaping community is incredibly welcoming.
Don’t get us wrong. If giving up smoking cold turkey, using Nicotine Replacement Therapy or switching to vaping on the first of January works for you, go for it!
We wish you all the very best of luck. Giving up smoking is not easy, but the benefits are vast. If you are someone who has embraced the New Year Resolution track in the past and been successful, go for it!
Otherwise, choose another date when there is less pressure.
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