Stress, worries about weight gain, and concerns about coping with withdrawal are some of the main excuses smokers use as reasons NOT to quit, according to Quit. But as 2001 draws to a close, Victorian smokers are being urged to quit the excuses and make quitting cigarettes their number one resolution for New Year.
Quit Executive Director Todd Harper says smoking to deal with stress is the leading reason many smokers may delay their quit attempt. But Mr Harper is urging smokers to put aside the excuses this year and start the New Year smokefree.
'Many people do smoke as a way of dealing with stress, but in the long term, dealing with a smoking related illness is likely to cause far more stress than any short term stress relief.'
'The tip for smokers who use cigarettes as a way to relax and unwind is to look for other ways to relieve their stress, like walking or listening to some relaxing music.'
And the urban myth about the uncle/grandfather/man-next-door who smoked a pack a day all his life and lived to 100 is another oft-quoted excuse for smokers to avoid quitting.
'We'd all like to think that we can get away with risky behaviours, but when it comes to smoking, unfortunately the reality is that statistics are against you. One in two smokers die prematurely, half of them in middle age,’ Harper says.
Mr Harper says many smokers, especially women, fear they’ll gain weight when they quit but in reality not all do.
'It’s important for those smokers concerned about weight gain to realise that not all smokers gain weight when they quit, and for those who do, the gain is usually small, around 2 to 3 kilos.
'Regular exercise and sensible eating while you are quitting is a good way to ensure that weight gain is not an issue.' Mr Harper says light smokers may convince themselves that they don’t need to quit because they only smoke 5 or 6 cigarettes a day.
'The answer here is that there is NO safe level of smoking, and every cigarette is doing you damage. It’s been estimated that regular smokers lose around 11 minutes off their life with every cigarette they smoke.'
Mr Harper says whatever the barriers, smokers need to remember that there is help and support available if they want to quit, just by calling the Quitline on 131 848 for the cost of a local call.
'I’d urge any smoker who’s thinking about making a fresh start in 2002 to call the Quitline for free resources and support.'
Mr Harper says Quit has developed a special New Year Quit pack to support smokers who decide to begin 2002 smokefree.
'To help smokers who want to quit the excuses - and the cigarettes - we’ve developed a New Year Quit Pack which is free and available simply by calling the Quitline on 131 848. ' The New Year Quit Pack includes a 2002 Quit diary with a year’s supply of quit tips, as well as resources and information about quitting and special giveaways to help handle the difficult times.
In a nutshell A key part of a successful quit attempt is planning Motivation is important Set a date to quit – it’s important to have a goal to work towards Get your friends and family to support you Call the Quitline on 131 848 for support and resources
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