Giving up smoking

Messages to other smokers

People had different experiences trying to give up smoking: some were surprised just how easy it was to stop and wished they had known this before, others found the process very difficult and wanted to let others know that it was important not to abandon giving up. Because of this, they had different messages for others about what had helped them and what to watch out for.

Give it a go, and keep going
People often had a gap of several years between when they first wanted to quit smoking and managing to give up. Some found it hard to keep trying to quit.
Chris had a difficult time giving up, but wanted to tell others to keep going to find the right combination of help out there that might work. She said that, ‘It’s not going to be easy’, but that the benefits were worth it. Blodwen, however, said she could make it sound easy, but you have to persevere.
Lifestyle changes
Others found that to give up smoking they had to change other aspects of their lifestyles as well, or that they did so as a result of giving up. Some had needed to change aspects of their routine so as not to think about smoking. Rukmini, Sarah and others found that changes in their lifestyle, such as doing yoga and taking better care of themselves, helped them to refocus.
The benefits of stopping smoking
People who give up smoking usually start to feel healthier and enjoy life more. When asked, they said they would like to pass on a message about the aspects of their lives which had been transformed by stopping smoking. Those who had developed smoking related diseases often wanted to warn people about the avoidable risks they were taking by smoking.
Caroline wanted to tell other people that if they could know how good she feels six months down the line they would give up smoking easily. Others like Neil said there are no upsides to smoking, only downsides, and wanted to warn people of the potential risks they were taking with their health. Blodwen wanted to urge people to quit - they would have a “lot more money in their pockets” (see ‘Money and Smoking’).

Last reviewed August 2018.

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