If you’re a cigarette smoker who has tried to stop, you’ll probably understand how hard it is to drop the evil stick. But the benefits of quitting cigarettes are many. After only 20 minutes, your heart starts to beat normally and carbon monoxide in your blood reduces. In two weeks. You’ll have lowered your chances of having a heart attack. Most importantly, you’ll also lower your chances of different kinds of cancer. If you’re trying to quit smoking, here are nine tips to help you quit smoking cigarettes.

1. Find a reason to quit

Just quitting might be hard to stick with when you don’t have a reason to keep you motivated. It could be to lower your chances of getting cancer, heart disease or other conditions. Or it could be to help you feel and look younger, or even to protect your friends and family from second-hand smoke, which is just as dangerous as smoking a cigarette.

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2. Consider nicotine replacement therapy

Smoking cigarettes get you addicted to nicotine, which is why it’s so hard for you to quit. Withdrawing from nicotine can give you headaches, mood swings, make you feel weak and slow. Using nicotine gum, lozenges and patches help improve your chances of giving up cigarettes by supplying you with nicotine while you’re trying to quit.

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3. Rely on your loved ones

Let’s be real, quitting smoking isn’t easy. It might help to tell your friends and family to keep you accountable. They would also check in on you, monitor your progress and help you in times when you feel like lighting up a cigarette again.

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4. Give yourself a break

One reason people smoke is that nicotine. If you find other relaxing activities, maybe you won’t feel like smoking as much. Listening to your favourite artiste, hang out with your friends, treat yourself to a massage or pick up a hobby. Working out helps you take your mind off smoking while you’re trying to quit.

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5. Avoid alcohol

When you drink, it’s much harder to quit cigarettes if you smoke. If you’re used to smoking while drinking coffee, try switching to tea. It helps your brain break the link you’ve made between them.

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6. Clean your surroundings

The goal here is to get rid of anything that reminds you of smoking; ashtrays, lighters, cigarette butts. Wash clothes that smell like smoke and use air fresheners to get rid of the smell of smoke.

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7. Keep trying

You might not succeed in your attempts to quit the first or even the tenth time, don’t get discouraged. Use it as an opportunity to remain committed to quitting. 

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8. Eat fruits and vegetables

No, nobody is asking you to go on a diet. In fact, depriving yourself of more stuff can discourage you from quitting. Eat fruits and vegetables which help your body recover from the effects of smoking easier.

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9. Reward yourself

Giving yourself a reward for each milestone you meet. E.g buying yourself those shoes you’ve always wanted when you’ve gone 30 days without smoking. You can also use online apps to calculate how much money you’re not spending on cigarettes and use it to buy something for yourself.

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