Make March your last stop on National No Smoking Day

This National No Smoking Day (Wednesday, 2nd March 2022) set a date to start your own HSE 28-day no smoking challenge and make March #TheLastStop. If you can quit smoking for 28 days, you are five times more likely to quit for good and QUIT.ie will be with you every step of the way.

Stefano Sweetman lives in Tipperary and has documented his journey in RTÉ’s Operation Transformation. He found his 28 day QUIT journey tough but extremely rewarding: “I was smoking for years up to 30 and 40 cigarettes a day. I really wanted to quit while I was younger so my husband Gerard and I decided to go for it and quit together. I struggle with the cravings but with the help of HSE’s Stop Smoking Advisor, Angela, I was able to kick the habit and I’m feeling great after successfully quitting for 28 days and counting!

Martina Blake, National Lead, HSE Tobacco Free Ireland Programme, explains how picking a quit date and making the most of the supports available is key“Most people who smoke want to quit but, for many, the idea of quitting can seem like a big hill to climb. An important step that people often miss out on is the preparation. Setting a date to quit and equipping yourself with the information, tools and supports you need to quit will make a huge difference. Get in touch with the QUIT Service now and get ready to quit this March. If you have quit before, you know that you can do it again and this time for good.’’

Dr Paul Kavanagh, HSE Public Health Medicine Specialist, offers this advice for people considering quitting:

“Smoking is incredibly harmful. One in two smokers will die from tobacco-related disease and a smoker can expect to lose on average about 10 years of life due to smoking. Stopping smoking is the single most important thing you can do for your health, for your future and for your loved ones. Finding out about Stop Smoking Medicines and the options available to you gives you the best chance of quitting for good.”

You’re not alone

The HSE has recruited 7 Quit leaders to take the 28 day no smoking challenge. They are sharing their own stories and experiences of their personal Quit journey. You can follow their progress on Quit.ie.

HSE Quit Leader, Marion Potts, explains why she is taking on the no smoking challenge this March:

Smoking just takes over your whole mind, you are waiting on that next fix because you are not free, you are constantly thinking about your next cigarette. I need help from the QUIT service to find out the best way to approach quitting this time. I am looking forward to being free of cigarettes.”

The HSE QUIT service provides personalised, free support by phone, email, SMS and live chat across the country. Smokers in South Dublin and East Wicklow can find their local stop smoking advisor and make an appointment to have a consultation here. Or they can free call 1800 201 203 or visit www.QUIT.ie for stop smoking tips and resources, a free QUIT Kit, and to create a QUIT Plan.

5 Top Tips to Quit Smoking:

·       Prepare to quit: take a moment to write down your reasons for quitting. Keep them close to hand or even stick them on your fridge as a reminder to stay strong. Set a QUIT date.

·       Change your routine and habits – do you normally have a cigarette with a coffee or tea? Then change your routine – have a cup of water instead or hold your cup in the other hand.

·       Keep check on cravings –your craving for nicotine will peak at 3-5 minutes and will pass if you deal with it. Have your heard of the 4Ds? 1. Delay at least 3 – 5 minutes and the urge will pass; 2. Drink a glass of water or fruit juice; 3. Distract yourself, move away from the situation; and 4. Deep breathe – breathe slowly and deeply.

·       Get by with a little help from your friends – supportive friends, family and even work colleagues could make all the difference to you on your QUIT journey.

·       The single best advice is to help yourself QUIT by getting support from the QUIT Team. Our service is available to everyone and is free of charge. By using a support service like ours you are twice as likely to succeed. Find details of your local free HSE stop smoking supports here.

The HSE provides a range of services to help you stop smoking. Find stop smoking clinics and other services near you https://www2.hse.ie/quit-smoking/support-services/

Peer-to-peer support is available on the QUIT Facebook Page www.facebook.com/HSEQUIT or on Twitter at HSE QUIT @HSEQuitTeam  #TheLastStop #QuitandWin

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