Seven or eight years ago a major transformation happened in the UK, smoking was banned in enclosed places I remember it well as all of sudden I would come home from a night out and not have to either hang my clothes out in the garden to remove the smell or put them straight in the washing machine. My bed didn’t need changing the next day because of the smell of stale smoke on the sheets from my hair and skin and I felt clean. This month see Stoptober a national campaign to help you stop smoking lasting 28 days.

28 day challenge for October - Stoptober giving up smoking
Copyright: belchonock

Listening to the radio I picked up the message that giving up smoking for 28 days you are 5 times as likely to quit for life now that seems like good statistics to me. But why quit, I have already said about my joy that I was able to come back from places without smelling of stale smoke, now as I know from speaking to my friends especially those that were quitting or secret smokers they can’t smell the smoke on their clothes, hair, skin or in their home/car but as a none smoker it’s obvious.

If you are a parent and smoking then this smell isn’t just on you it’s on your children as well, plus their clothes, bags, books that go into school and even their homework. Whilst teaching I could tell which children came from a household that smoked the smell lingered as I marked homework, no perfume, air freshner or scented candles would hide the smell.

Smell and taste are so closely linked – if you can’t smell the smoke on yourself then you sense of smell is compromised which also means your sense of taste. I heard that it’s like eating with a cold nothing tastes the same it’s all a bit cardboard like and bland, sometime within the 28 days of #Stoptober

But stopping is hard I’ve watched friends try and try some succeed and some don’t (pretty much like losing weight or keeping those new years resolutions). Boots is here to help and loads of tips, advice can be found on their Boots UK Stop Smoking pages. Reading though and listening to the friends that have succeed these are things that have really worked for them.

Tip 1 – Quit your own way

You don’t have to start on the first day of Stoptober just chose a point this month and go for it – 28 days without a cigarette and see what a difference it makes not to mention the money you will save (Christmas is coming after all).

Tip 2 – Know your smoking triggers

Do you always smoke at 11am when you have a coffee, how about as the news finishes or before you go to bed? Those are your smoking triggers so try and replace them – as the news finishes and you want to light up how about talking a walk or washing up.

Also don’t worry about putting on weight there is some brilliant advice from Angela the Boots Stop Smoking expert says

Many people worry about weight gain as they often confuse their cravings for hunger and increase their food and snack intake. If you’re worried about weight gain talk to a stop smoking advisor who can give you tips on eating right and exercising so that weight gain is minimal. Things that could help:

  • Drink an extra glass of water after meals to keep you feeling full
  • Snack on as many fruits and veggies as you want – something crunchy like baby carrots or an apple, can sometimes be very satisfying
  • Keep your hands busy with something besides food!

Tip 3 – Swap smoking for a new hobby

Ever fancied crochet, learning French or how about trying out some fabulous new recipes then swap the smoking for something that you have always wanted to do – Go on make it a fresh start that is exciting and associate your stopping smoking for Stoptober with something fabulous you are doing for yourself.

Tip 4 – Don’t give up giving up smoking

So you have been smoke free for 7 days, then you go out for a works colleagues birthday meal and afterwards your usual friends all invite you outside for a cigarette and you have one. Don’t take that as a failure, instead just go back and start again but look at Why? you wanted, needed, had that smoke. Giving up isn’t easy and you could have relapses but think of all of the benefits.

Tip 5 – Reward yourself

Set yourself mini targets, 1 day, 1 week, 10 days etc.. smoke free or a None Smoker and celebrate those small achievements and then the big 28 DAYS smoke free. How you celebrate is up to you – but aside from the health benefits you will have money – if you were smoking 20 cigarettes a day that’s almost £10 a day treat yourself some new make up on the first smoke free day, how about at the end of the first week nearing £70 saved – how about a new hair cut. At the end of a month smoking 20 cigarettes a day you could have saved almost £250 – imagine what you could do with that to celebrate.

So join in Stoptober this year and make a difference to your health, that of your children plus save yourself money and remember if you do it with support it’s much easier to check out the Boots UK Stop Smoking website for tips, resources and support.

Stoptober Twitter Party with Boots UK

Join us on October 16th between 1pm and 2pm (UK time) with Anglea from Boots and a couple of other experts talking about #Stoptober and giving you top tips to stop smoking this year.

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Boots UK Stop Smoking campaign for #Stoptober.

Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, high school teacher and mum. Realising that life doesn't have to be put on hold and you don't just have to survive whilst the kids are young she shares ideas to inspire you to LIVE with the kids, with activities to do together, recipes to cook and enjoy and family travel to make memories to last a lifetime.

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