• Top tips for getting motivated

    Quitting smoking is a challenge, so make sure you keep those all-important motivation levels topped up…

    Quit with a friend

    Stopping smoking is contagious! A US study in 2008 found that people whose friends quit were 36% more likely to stop themselves, while people whose workmates quit were 34% less likely to smoke too. So, if you want to succeed in your mission to give up cigarettes for good, grab a friend who also wants to quit. That way, you can keep each other motivated and you’ll know you’re not in it alone. Why not plan some joint rewards for when you’ve quit too, like a celebratory night or day out, or shopping trip with the money you’ve saved from not buying cigarettes?

    Get outdoors

    When was the last time you found yourself on top of a hill on a hot summer’s day and took in a really big lungful of fresh air? The benefits of getting out in the fresh air are endless; it can boost endorphins – those happy hormones that come in very handy when you’re in need of a motivation boost – as well as helping you be active. Plus, as time passes, you’ll really start to notice how much fresher the air smells, and how much fitter you’re becoming, thanks to quitting cigarettes. Lung capacity improves by as much as 10 % in nine months when you quit – you’ll be whizzing up those steep hills!

    Keep a log

    Approach your quitting mission as if it were a project, like buying a new home or planning a wedding – but rather than counting down the days, count them up. Get yourself a calendar and tick off each day you’ve managed to stay cigarette free. The ticks will soon add up – a nice pat on the back for your hard work, and something for you to look at and remind yourself how far you’ve come if your willpower’s having a wobble. Set reward-targets too so you’ve something to work towards - when you’ve managed to go a whole month smoke-free, for instance, you’ll really deserve that new bag, or trip to your favourite restaurant that you promised yourself.

    Start a piggy bank

    Remember, the average smoker spends a lot on cigarettes. Saving money is a huge motivation for lots of people who want to stop smoking – and if you ensure you actually see the money you save, all the better. So set up a special account or just start a ‘quitting jar’ or piggy bank, to store the saved cash. Then for the fun part… deciding how to spend it! Those gorgeous shoes you’ve been eyeing up, or the latest smartphone? Could be yours after a month… Or play the long game and save all year to splash out on a holiday.

    Plan an ‘anniversary’ party

    Quitting smoking is no easy task – but if you give it your all and stay motivated, you will get there. And if that’s not an excuse for a party, then we don’t know what is! Why not promise your family and friends a fun shindig to celebrate your quitting success? It’ll be yet another positive target and reason to stay motivated, as well as being a great way of sharing your achievement with your loved ones. Your one-year anniversary as a non-smoker would be the perfect date for it. Raid that ‘quitting jar’ to splash out on decorations and a brilliant buffet – then crank up the volume and boogie!