If you only make one change this year, make it to quit smoking.

If you only make one change this year, make it to quit smoking.

Many of us have committed to making resolutions for the upcoming year. Unfortunately, following through many times is a difficult thing to do. Quitting smoking is probably one of the easiest resolutions to break – just coming into a familiar or unfamiliar stressful situation can make you feel the need for a nicotine hit.

However, achievement of any goal is obtainable with the right support and the right mindset.

According to the Center of Disease Control, smoking has declined from nearly 21 of every 100 adults (20.9%) in 2005 to about 15 of every 100 adults (15.1%) in 2015. But unbelievably, this still leaves an estimated 36.5 million adults in the United States who currently smoke cigarettes. More than 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease. Smoking is also responsible for over a third of respiratory deaths and over a quarter of cancer deaths.

So what makes it difficult to end this habit? Smoking consists of two forms of addiction – physical and psychological. The feeling you experience when nicotine enters your system initiates an addiction to a physical sensation, which leads to withdrawal when you quit. The habit turns into part of your daily routine, making it an automatic response in certain situations. For many this psychological addiction is the hardest hurdle to overcome.

Tips for quitting

Different strategies work for different people. Some will use willpower and just go cold turkey while others will need to utilize nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) and get professional support. It is important to look at both the physical and psychological aspect of the addiction. Therefore, NRTs like patches, gum or e-cigarettes complemented with another therapy, like hypnotherapy, will assist with the psychological addiction and becomes a winning combination.

Here are some strategies you can utilize to make certain you quit for good:

Choose a quit date –Having a specific date helps you stick to your plan. Ensure you get rid of any cigarettes, lighters etc. before the date and avoid going to your usual smoking haunts on that day (i.e. the pub, local coffee shop).

Tell your friends and family –Telling the people close to you that you are quitting will give you a sense of accountability. In addition, they will tempt you by offering you a cigarette.

Make a note when you crave cigarettes –Taking note of when you smoke. Notice when your cravings this will help you to be better prepared for them.