Christmas can be an exciting time of year, but also very stressful. With many cards to write, decorations to put up, food to buy and festive sweater parties to go to, quitting smoking is probably the last thing on your mind.

We want you to relax and enjoy the festive season without worrying, so we have put together some helpful hints and tips to help you enjoy your first smoke free Christmas:

 

Track Your Progress

Think about what you have achieved so far and how well you have done.  The NHS Quit Smoking app allows you to track your progress and see how much you’re saving.

 

Remember why you stopped smoking

Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture over the Christmas period. The reasons you quit smoking are as valid today as they were the day you quit. Take five minutes and refresh your memory by reading your list of reasons.

 

Let you friends and family know you’re quitting

You’re more likely to stay smoke free if your family and friends know about your commitment to being smokefree and support you along the way.

At Christmas, we’re often surrounded by lots of different people, some of whom we may not see during the rest of the year. Make sure you tell people from the outset that you have quit, and ask them not to tempt you.

 

Use your smoke free aids

Running out of Nicotine Replacement products or vaping liquid can spell disaster. If you are using aids to help you quit and stay smoke free make sure you have enough to keep the cravings away.

 

Avoid Drinking Excess Alcohol

Drinking excess alcohol can intensify cravings to smoke, lower your inhibitions and affect your decision making. Alcohol also makes you dehydrated which can make cravings stronger.

You don’t have to be alcohol free but be responsible, drink plenty of water before, after and between alcoholic drinks to avoid dehydration. Try changing your usual tipple for something different. Evidence shows that smells of certain drinks that you drank regularly when you were a smoker can act as a trigger and create cravings to smoke.

 

Be wary of the “just one” thought

It usually leads to full-time smoking again and non-smokers don’t need “just one” anyway.

 

Keep your Hands Busy

Take something to keep your hands busy when you have a craving, such as a pencil, a paper clip, a coin, or a marble.

While your first smoke free Christmas may feel uncomfortable, you’re working to cement new habits in place. Keep your focus and meet the challenges that come along with confidence. You can do this, and you’ll thank yourself when the holidays are behind you and you’re still smoke free.

Have a great, smoke free Christmas!