What a year it has been…amongst much of the disruption and changes to our way life, there has been some positives, for example over 1 million people have quit smoking during lockdown (as of July 14th according to stats from Ash.org) and learning that being in the office Monday to Friday full-time is not entirely necessary being a few.
The less time socialising with colleagues, friends and family has in some ways helped with smoking cessation, the post work or weekend drinks a trigger environment for many. Whereas in other cases, the increased time on our hands at home has meant that there is more time to light up; the cigarette has taken on the role of symbolic closure of one task before starting another. And without the usual walk to the smoking area or even need to be outside, hourly cigs have become more accessible. In combination with the quite exceptional stresses that we all we face (cigarettes can feel like a coping mechanism for stress) it’s perhaps one of the most difficult times to be trying to go through such a difficult lifestyle change - that of being a smoker to a non-smoker.
Although things may seem stacked against quitting smoking, it’s still possible but may need a little more time and maybe even a different approach.
Have you considered trying a mobile application to support your quit journey? Most of us spend a fair bit of time on our smartphones, so a quit smoking app to suit your personality could be worth a shot. Here’s a run-down of some of the popular ones in the UK (via @EveningStandard):
Kwit gamifies the process of kicking the cigarettes, by using various game techniques to encourage you to quit smoking. There are achievements to unlock depending on the last time you’ve smoked and a rankings table for the competitive side of you.
Kwit on iOS and Android
QuitNow! is a community-based app, which leverages a social approach to help the quit journey. There is a daily clock to remind you of how long you’ve been quit and a feature to track the improvements in your health.
This is Public Health England’s app offering that offers daily support messages and tips to encourage and help you quit smoking. There is a handy cost savings calculator which shows how much you’ve saved each day you avoid buying cigs. A lot.
Of course, if apps are not your thing, there’s always 28 Days Quit – a team of Quit Coaches who will support you with weekly motivational calls to help behaviour change and pharmacological advice. With clinic open from 8am-8pm Monday to Thursday, 8am-5pm Friday and 9am-1pm Saturday, the service can adapt to your schedule. Get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org or 03301 244 648