It’s no secret that kicking the habit isn’t an easy ride, but with all the health risks associated with smoking, we’re never short of reasons to persevere.
Apart from the fact that you will be one of the 240,000 people who are trying to quit during October, you are five times more likely to stop for good if you can go smoke-free for a month.
That said, those who go cold turkey, without the use of any stop-smoking aids, are significantly less likely to be successful. Luckily, there is more help than ever for those who want to kick the habit.
If you are determined to quit then our guide, which takes a look at the some of the latest stop-smoking technology out there, can help.
Stop Smoking app
Apps such as My Last Cigarette and the NHS’ Stop Smoking app have proven to be huge sources of support, offering users a welcome distraction when cravings start to kick in. The theory is that by being able to view your accomplishments – such as how many days you’ve gone without a cigarette and how many pounds you’ve saved by quitting – you are more likely to want to carry on making progress. Some apps even allow users to set daily goals, as well as offering tips and facts to help out when they need additional inspiration.
Does it work?
With My Last Cigarette racking up an impressive 4.5 stars in the iTunes app store, and Stop Smoking averaging at 3.5 stars, they clearly have their fans. These two apps also made it onto Healthline’s list of the top apps to help you stop smoking.
Although there hasn’t been enough research around the e-cigarette for it to be recommended by doctors, these products have quickly proved to be a very popular method of quitting. The battery-powered devices release a nicotine vapour that the user inhales. You can buy cartridges with lower nicotine content, allowing you to eventually wean yourself off nicotine altogether. Some quitters like e-cigs because they don’t contain the other harmful substances associated with normal cigarettes, such as tar and carbon monoxide.
Do they work?
The AcuOne device is fitted to the user’s wrist and uses electro-acupuncture to “train” the smoker to stop smoking. Any time a craving is experienced, a two minute electro-acupuncture session is supposed to control the withdrawal symptoms. However there has been little research into whether or not acupuncture has any real benefits for those striving to quit.
Does it work?
At the time of writing there are relatively few independent reviews to be found online, but alternative health practitioners are positive about electro-acupuncture’s effectiveness.
If you really can’t see yourself being able to function without smoking a normal cigarette, then the Filtrim just might be the answer. The little metal device, which claims to let you “smoke while you quit,” increases filtration and helps to reduce the amount of nicotine that reaches your system. By perforating the paper, smokers can “smoke like normal,” but only take in a purported five per cent of the harmful chemicals they’d usually inhale.
Does it work?
This Filtrim essentially turns a normal cigarette into a lighter one, so while it helps you to cut down, you’re still getting the same chemicals that you were getting – but in reduced amounts. In other words, it’s the stop-smoking equivalent of a gastric band.
Quitbit (available from Dec 2014)
Following on from the fitness tracker known as ‘Fitbit’ – a device that monitors movement and calories burnt – the Quitbit is the latest in behaviour tracking, which promises to increase your chances of quitting. Although it has not yet reached the shelves, the new device has already attracted a lot of attention. A ‘smart lighter,’ it monitors how many cigarettes you have smoked, how long since your last cigarette and even allows you to limit how often you smoke. A companion app allows you to programme your lighter to only work during certain times,track your progress, and share your results on social media.
Does it work?
It is too early to say, but we’ll soon find out.
It is clear that when it comes to quitting smoking, there is no end to the number of ways you can go about it. Why not check out the range of services available from the NHS to kick-start your new, smoke-free life? The best time to start is now.