September 27, 2012 8.00 am This story is over 141 months old

Your health: Take control and stop smoking

Help to stop: There are many great initiatives and methods to stop smoking, if you have enough self-belief. Lisa Boulton looks at some tips.

Do you fancy a holiday in the Maldives or Barbados; or maybe something nearer home? Does that sort of luxury seem out of reach? Well, if you smoke 20 cigarettes a day and you stop smoking now, in six months’ time you will have saved approximately £2190, so not as out of reach as you may think.

So why stop smoking? Apart from the obvious immediate health benefits to you and your family, you will be better off, feel less stressed and have more time. You will feel a sense of achievement that you have accomplished your goal, and you will feel more in control.

It’s important to be realistic: for most people stopping smoking is a difficult thing to do. Let’s also be positive, many millions of people have been able to do it, which shows it is possible. When you give up smoking you will most likely have cravings and other unpleasant symptoms, but remember this is a temporary thing. The temporary discomfort you may feel for a few weeks will get easier and abate.

Whether this is the only time you have tried to stop smoking, or you have had several attempts, it’s important to be prepared. First of all, set a date, tell your family and friends you are going to stop smoking, and stick to that date.

Write down your personal reasons for stopping and think of all the long and short term benefits of that. Google the benefits of stopping smoking and related topics and see what you can find out, there are many good reasons to stop smoking apart from your health.

Think about the times you have a cigarette and then think about what you could do to replace that activity, take a note of the new activities and remind yourself of them regularly. By doing this you are taking control of those trigger points that would usually have you reaching for a cigarette.

It’s important to look at how you eat and what your drinking habits are like, as this will also help you to stop smoking. Also, drink plenty of water and think of ways to get fit.

Finally think about you: tell yourself you are going to do this, keep telling yourself, and look forward to that holiday in the Maldives!

Lisa Boulton is the Medical Director of Amethyst Health Screening, a local company which carries out health checks and cardiovascular risk assessments for Lincoln residents and local businesses. She contributes on health-related topics for The Lincolnite.