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It’s time to say goodbye to 2012 and hello to the new year. For some of us, 2013 will involve finally giving up smoking. Yes, cigarettes will most likely be the first thing to quit on many people’s list of New Year’s resolutions.

But like many resolutions, the chances of sticking to it as January progresses can wear thin. The stresses of everyday life begin to take their toll and unfortunately we can return to old habits and within no time the cigarettes are back.

The thing with giving up smoking is that it’s all in the mind. It requires an immense amount of will power, which for some people can become too much. Research shows that 70 per cent of smokers want to give up, but only 5 per cent actually manage to quit successfully.

But it doesn’t have to be as hard. All people really need is support. During October 2012, the NHS launched its mass-quit campaign, Stoptober, which stated that giving up for 28 days made you five times more likely to quit for good. The campaign turned out to be a huge success and the support of others proved to be a vital part of why people didn’t give in.

Choosing to quit in 2013 does not have to be any different to Stobtober. By setting the goal and having support along the way means you are more likely to succeed. And this is true of any resolution.

Some people who have been successful quitting smoking have said they replaced the cigarette with something else such as a glass of water. This has proved to work as it take the person’s mind off of having a cigarette and also creates a different association with the feeling of wanting a cigarette. Hypnotherapy and NLP techniques can also be a great way to overcome obstacles and quit the habit

The most successful quitters have been those on some form of smoking medication, whether it be patches, chewing gum or a prescribed drug. Those people who went ‘cold turkey’ proved to have a lower success rate and increased levels of stress, and returned to smoking far quicker.

Smoking is of course a huge health risk, and it is currently the highest single cause of illness and premature death in the UK. So why is it that people smoke in the first place? There will never be a definitive answer to that question, but stats show that the percentage of the population that smoke has dropped by over 13 per cent in the last 15 years. The warnings are proving to be slowly working.

January will undoubtedly consist of New Year’s resolutions that many will not stick to. But instead of deciding to do something unrealistic, try making small tweaks to something in your everyday life, as this is much more likely to result in success. Good luck!

  • Introduce a new hobby or interest
  • Picture yourself where you want to be in three, six or 12 months’ time
  • Be kind to your self if things don’t work out the way that you would like right away
  • Be open to doing things in a new way and be kind to yourself if things don’t work out in the way that you intend
  • Use each day as rehearsal for the next

Finally be kind to yourself if things don’t work out well.

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