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Top Tips to Quit Smoking

Person holding cigarette
  • Write a list of the reasons why you want to stop, and keep them with you. Refer to them when you are tempted to light up.
  • Set a date for stopping, and stop completely. Some people prefer the idea of cutting down gradually. However, research has shown that if you smoke less cigarettes than usual, you are likely to smoke more of each cigarette, and nicotine levels remain nearly the same. Therefore, it is usually best to stop once and for all from a set date.
  • Tell everyone that you are giving up smoking and get rid of ashtrays, lighters, and all cigarettes. Friends and family often give support and may help you. Smoking by others in the household makes giving up harder. If appropriate, try to get other household members who smoke, or friends who smoke, to stop smoking at the same time. A 'team' effort may be easier than going it alone.
  • Be prepared for some withdrawal symptoms and anticipate a cough. When you stop smoking, you are likely to get symptoms which may include: nausea (feeling sick), headaches, anxiety, irritability, craving, and just feeling awful. These symptoms are caused by the lack of nicotine that your body has been used to. They tend to peak after 12-24 hours, and then gradually ease over 2-4 weeks.
  • It is normal for a 'smokers cough' to get worse when you stop smoking (as the airways 'come back to life'). Many people say that this makes them feel worse for a while after stopping smoking and makes them tempted to restart smoking. Resist this temptation! The cough usually gradually eases.
  • Take one day at a time and don't despair if you relapse. Mark off each successful day on a calendar. Look at it when you feel tempted to smoke, and tell yourself that you don't want to start all over again. If you relapse, examine the reasons why you felt it was more difficult at that particular time. It will make you stronger next time. On average, people who eventually stop smoking have made 3 or 4 previous attempts.

Get in Touch

The in-house Smoking Cessation Service supports all outpatients, inpatients and their partners, parents of paediatric patients and all staff within the Health Board.

  • In UHW on 029 2074 3582
  • In Llandough: on 029 20 71 5240

Alternatively, anyone can call Help Me Quit on 0800 085 2219

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