As we say goodbye to 2022, people around the UK are looking ahead and setting their goals for the upcoming year. In fact, a recent YouGov survey suggests that one in five Britons has made a New Year’s resolution, with quitting smoking amongst the most popular goals. Although 1 in 7 smokers want to quit, the route to a healthier lifestyle is not a simple one. According to the American Cancer Society, it takes 8-10 attempts for the average person to quit smoking, with their chances reduced further if they use willpower alone. Therefore, to help you kick the habit for good, we have collated a list of our top seven tips on how to stop smoking this January. Discover Your Reason To help you maintain motivation, you need a strong reason to quit smoking in the first place. Your reason could be to reduce your chances of lung cancer, protect your family against second-hand smoke, or live a healthier and happier lifestyle. No matter your choice, it’s important to define it at the start of your quitting journey to push past the inevitable cravings and remain smoke-free in 2023. If you’re struggling to pinpoint a reason to quit, many smokers focus on the financial benefits. The average smoker spends around £150 on cigarettes monthly, equating to approximately £114,000 over a lifetime. Especially in today’s cost-of-living crisis, it’s important to save where possible, so quitting this expensive habit is a smart financial move. The money you would save from quitting could help pay bills, fund holidays or buy the occasional reward when you reach a smoke-free milestone. Avoid Triggers For many ex-smokers, cigarettes were once intertwined with their daily lives. As a result, smoking becomes associated with everyday activities like eating meals, watching TV or even socialising with friends. These common triggers can cause difficult cravings, even for those who have been smoke-free for years. Therefore, one of our top tips for stopping smoking after you have identified your triggers is to change your routine to avoid them. For example, if you once paired your morning coffee with a cigarette, why not try having your coffee on the go whilst enjoying a morning stroll around the neighbourhood? Try Nicotine Replacement Therapy Withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue, mood swings and headaches are common side effects when you stop smoking. However, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) can help overcome these symptoms. Vaping with tobacco e-liquids is a great way to help satisfy cravings without consuming the 5,000 harmful chemicals in traditional cigarettes. As a result, vapes are not only 95% safer than cigarettes, but they are also twice as effective as other NRT products. The effectiveness of vaping is further enhanced when combined with talking therapies. Group or individual counselling can be a great addition to NRT as it uses cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to adjust long-term behaviours and mindsets, improving your chance of quitting for good. Get Active Exercise is also among our top tips on how to stop smoking this January. Physical activity will activate endorphins to enhance mental and physical health whilst also helping you overcome those pesky cravings. Regular exercise for just 10 minutes per day can also help you achieve health-related goals, including lowering blood pressure and improving lung efficiency. Healthy Eating It’s common for ex-smokers to experience an increased appetite; to manage this, we recommend swapping artificial sweets for fruit, chocolate for vegetables and crisps for unsalted nuts. Eating a balanced diet of high-fat and nutrient-rich food will help keep you full for longer so you can avoid overindulging on the naughty stuff. Overcoming Setbacks Quitting smoking is no easy feat; in fact, it’s one of the most difficult habits to kick. Therefore, you are forgiven for smoking a few cigarettes during your quitting journey. If you do experience some setbacks, rather than punishing yourself, celebrate what you’ve already achieved and acknowledge that everyone’s journey to becoming smoke-free is unique. This will help to maintain a positive mindset and quickly get back on track to a smoke-free 2023. Remember The Benefits One of our most effective tips on how to stop smoking this January is to consider the short-term and long-term health benefits. After just 20 minutes of being smoke-free, your heart rate will return to ‘normal’; after 8 hours, the carbon monoxide in your blood will significantly decrease. The longer you remain smoke-free, the more significant the benefits. For example, after one year, your risk of a heart attack is halved, and after ten years, your risk of lung cancer is also halved.