Of course everyone knows the health benefits of giving up smoking, not to mention the financial savings, but what smokers also know is that giving up is hard to do. So to help you break the habit we've come up with a number of things you can do at each stage of the process.
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Instead of Purchasing Your Cigarettes Look at how much money you're handing over for that next pack and think about what you could spend it on instead. Why not buy half a dozen lottery tickets? A couple of Easter eggs? Fish and chips? A couple of pints… admittedly not a healthy alternative, but at least it increases the chance of someone getting a round in and buying you one back. When was the last time someone 'bummed' a pint off you? Or an Easter Egg for that matter.
Instead of Lighting Up Replicate the motion of sparking up your latest cigarette by doing something else with your thumbs. Play with a video game controller really close to your face, like a grandparent having a first bash at Tetris on Christmas Day morning 1991. Alternatively for regular thumb flicking replication join 'The Jets' in a reproduction of Westside Story.
Instead of Holding your Cigarette Not having something to do with their hands is an often cited obstacle by those giving up, so the key is to find an alternative to hold and motion with. So with that in mind why not take up darts? Of course, you have to get in the habit of letting go and aiming your 'cigarette' at a target, but after all the practice you've had picking out nextdoor's plant-pot, double top should be a cinch. A more sensible solution could be an electronic cigarette which offer a tobacco and tar-free alternative to traditional smoking products, just remember not to chuck them when you're done.
Instead of Going Outside Instead of disappearing out by the bins, or to that daft bus shelter they've put up for you on the other side of the car-park for a crafty cigarette why not get some bloody work done for a change eh? Some of us have to sit here all day. On a brighter note, by staying at your desk or among your co-workers you at least won't miss out on the latest gossip – or be the subject of it – and you 'll increase your chances of catching the eye of the hot new accounts director, and should you do so you won't stink of smoke either.
Instead of Taking a Drag Of course the most troublesome aspect of giving up smoking is its addictiveness, and as Chris Martin once whined “Nobody said it would be easy”. What you may find helpful is find an alternative addiction; chocolate can often work for you, or dry roasted peanuts – we've all seen how quickly they disappear from a family get together. Alternatively have a collection of lollies to suck on, or if none of those work, there's always the electronic cigarette alternative we mentioned earlier. For further information and more traditional advice on kicking the habit on No Smoking Day, visit the NHS' Smoke Free website.