Kicking the habit is never an easy feat, but the good news is it isn’t impossible. We get some encouraging tips from top therapists at The Round Clinic, which helps hundreds of Hong Kongers quit smoking each month.
If you’re reading this article, then I’m guessing that you are seeking guidance on how to quit smoking. It’s a very tough challenge, I know, as one who has done it. How many times have you tried? It took me four attempts in total. On a basic human level, we all need our coping mechanisms, for all sorts of reasons, so removing one that gives such satisfaction is like losing a limb (yes, I can see you nodding). Fear not. With a little extra encouragement and support, we can, and do let go of bad habits and create new ones. Here are some helpful pointers to get help you on your way to kicking the ciggies for good!
1. You Must WANT to Quit
Before you attempt to quit smoking, you have to get this right in your head, you must WANT to quit, because if you don’t have that, you’re chances of failure are high. So, are you fed up with having smelly hair and clothes? Are your friends constantly nagging you to quit? Sick of feeling stupid because you know deep down, well, smoking is stupid? If you are nodding along while reading this then I think you’re ready, so the the next step is to make sure you have a plan.
2. Consider the Impact on Yourself and Others
We all know WHY we should give up, don’t we? It’s possibly one of the single most unkind things we can do to our bodies, and we are all aware of the dangers, so there is no denying it. Then there is the anti-social aspect of smoking – the passive dangers to others, the smell, the legal requirement to remove yourself from wherever you may be to find an outside space. And of course, there’s the expense. And yet, despite the overwhelming arguments against it, it is still so terribly hard to give it up. However, thinking of all your loved ones and friends who are and will be affected by your habit can really help you steel yourself to stand firm and decide to quit.
3. Think of the Money You’ll Save
How many cigarettes do you smoke a week? Have you totted up the financial costs of your smoking? This alone is a helpful exercise, as you can actually see how much you could be setting aside to spend on something far more beneficial as a result. Maybe that diving course you’ve been wanting to do for some time? Or that special trip you’ve been promising yourself when you ever have enough money? Do the maths. It’s a thought-provoking exercise that really helps your resolve.
4. The Health Benefits
There is something far more important than how much your loved ones, your friends, and your pocket will benefit – it’s YOU! Are you fully aware of the damage you are doing every time you smoke? Or the accumulative damage? It’s far easier to ignore that factor, I know. But here’s something far more positive to focus on and look forward to: within a month or two, you will start to experience the following benefits:
- Broken addictive cycle. Your brain chemistry will alter as the nicotine receptors drop and it relearns how to function without the conditioning of habitual behaviour.
- Lowered blood pressure and heart rate. Rapidly reducing your risk of heart disease, strokes, and associated blood problems such as clots and high cholesterol.
- Your lungs will start to mend. Within weeks you will notice that exertion starts to get easier as your lungs begin to function better and get more oxygen into your blood.
- All your senses will improve. Food will taste better, your vision will improve, your skin will regain elasticity and be far less prone to wrinkles, and your oral health will dramatically get better!
- Your hormones and libido will be able to rebalance, giving you extra pep where you most want it!
These are all things to focus on when you decide to quit, they will all help you to resist temptation when the cravings kick in.
5. The Environmental Impact
I don’t need to remind you of the global grassroots movement about how we are destroying our lovely planet with litter, or mention that over 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are dropped worldwide every year and are the most littered item in the world, do I? So how do you feel about all the butts you discard every day, month, year, decade? Not that great, eh? If we all do just a little bit to reduce that waste mountain, it adds up to a lot. We all have a responsibility to help clean up our own mess.
Ready to Kick the Habit?
If you’re still reading then I know you’re serious about wanting to quit. So here’s the thing: you don’t have to ‘go it alone’ or ‘go cold turkey’. There is a lot of help out there that really makes a huge difference.
From yourself, you need three things: you must REALLY WANT to quit, you must REALLY DECIDE that you are going to quit, and you must MAKE A PLAN. Think about all the times when you’ve really wanted something, and how much time, effort, and thinking that went into it. This is the same thing.
From others, you need other things: emotional support from loved ones and friends, mental support from therapists to help break the habits, and physical support in terms of good dietary advice and treatments and supplements to help with the cravings.
There are many good health and wellbeing centres in Hong Kong and beyond that can provide effective therapeutic support for you. At the Round Clinic, we offer a
Quit Smoking package that provides a programme of treatments through Homeopathy, Acupuncture, and Kinesiology that will help reduce the cravings, restore your health, and help identify and treat whatever is keeping you hooked. We will also offer a quit cafe every month where you can come and share your successes and challenges with other people in a similar situation. It is all natural, non-invasive, and easy to incorporate into your life. All you need to do is take the first step. Wish it. Then, with help, you can make it happen.
Read more! Check out the rest of our How To section.