Quit smoking help is out there

iStock_000013410749Small_couple and healthy lifestyle_cropped Quit smoking help is out thereIf you’re a smoker, chances are you understand what it’s doing to your body. But as any smoker knows, it’s not just about the cigarettes. It’s about the ritual and behaviours surrounding the cigarettes you smoke.

 

Our Health & Wellness Team caught up with an office worker who has made the commitment to quit for good. Married with two children, Mandy is a 46 year old marketing consultant. She has smoked since she was a teenager except during her pregnancies.

 

FAW: Congratulations on quitting for one month now. How did you do it?

Mandy: The first thing I want to say is quitting is hard. But it’s definitely achievable. I thought about quitting for a few months, but while I knew in my head I wanted to quit, I was actually still enjoying it. You have to be committed and you have to know exactly why you want/need to quit. The first thing I did was make a list of reasons, and then I let everyone around me know I was quitting to get their support, including the management team at work.

 

FAW: What reasons did you give yourself for quitting?

Mandy: I love life and I don’t want to cut it any shorter. I also laugh a lot, but I started to find that every time I laughed, I coughed, so I reasoned smoking was killing my joy – literally. My teenage kids were devastated I smoked, and I was very aware that friends, family and colleagues could smell the smoke on me, no matter how much perfume I sprayed or how often I brushed my teeth.

 

FAW: Did you use a particular quitting method?

Mandy: Nicotine replacement just deals with the nicotine craving but not the rituals of when and where you smoked. I have a Nicorette Inhaler which simulates the hand to mouth ritual, but the box sits there only as a backup. It’s still sealed. Absolute willpower is definitely the best way for me.

 

FAW: What changes did you make to your routine when you quit?

Mandy: The ritual of hand to mouth is one of the biggest habits to break, so I make sure I have plenty of fresh fruit at work that I reach for if I have a craving. I know my danger times during the day, so instead of making phone calls outside, I’ll go into a room with my fruit and a cup of tea.

 

FAW: How has your workplace helped you?

Mandy: Work is 100% behind me and they’ve encouraged me to keep in touch with Quitline, even if it’s during the working day. I do watch the regular smokers go out for a puff, but with no regrets as I feel incredibly in control plus I know I smell good and already feel better!

 

FAW: Are you rewarding yourself for not smoking?

Mandy: Actually, I am. After just one month, I’m waking up without being aware my lungs hurt, so I’ve joined a gym to get cracking on my fitness.

 

FAW: If you have one piece of advice for office workers out there, what would it be?

Mandy: I think the ritual and hand-to-mouth habit are harder to kick than the nicotine. I keep a plate of chopped apples, grapes and other bite-sized fruits on my desk together with a large jug of water. Every time I feel an urge, I pour a glass of water and eat a mouthful of fruit. I’m lucky my employer has a generous supply of fresh fruit as it’s my go-to backup for urges.

 

For more information and help on quitting smoking, visit http://www.quitnow.gov.au/ or call the Quitline on 13 78 48

 

State Governments offer a variety of resources, information and help including Workplace Quit Smoking Programs. Click below to find out more.

 

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