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To Sam

Smoking

I've smoked near enough a year and this is all that seems to help me when I get angry and upset. It calms me down.

I know it's bad for me and I shouldn't do it but I really find it hard to quit and it's starting to cost me a lot of money: Money I don't have.

My mum doesn't know which means I am out all the time so I can have a cigarette. It wasn't too bad when I started, I used to have 2 a day but now I have nearer 7 when I go out and I just cant afford to keep smoking but everytime I try to quit I turn really quite mean and I just have ago at anyone around me and I don't mean to.

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Well done for wanting to quit smoking, nicotine is addictive and hard to give up. Over time people often find their habit increases and feel less in control, but with the right support it is possible to quit.

It can take a while to quit, and having some setbacks is normal – if you do smoke again it’s important to have the mind-set that it is a one-off and you are still quitting.

First, make a list of the things that make you angry and upset, that way you’ll know your triggers for wanting to smoke. Second, notice what happens when you get angry or upset (such as physical changes in your body like getting hot) the more aware you are the more control you have over your emotions. 

It will also help to have a list of alternatives to safely release your anger. This could be using a stress ball, going for a run, dance, shout or scream along to a loud song – whatever works for you. If you have access to a sports centre you could use a punch bag, or take up an energetic sport such as boxing, or running. You could try some deep breathing exercises to calm down. For more suggestions you might want to look at our page about anger.

To help you quit you could visit your GP or pharmacist to get a stop smoking pack and some support – they will be happy to help you quit. The NHS offers a lot of advice about how to give up smoking.

Next, set a quit day - try not to quit during a busy period in your life such as exam time as stress levels are usually already high. Consider telling someone you trust, as having someone who can help might increase your willpower. Keeping a list of clear reasons for quitting (for example health benefits and saving money) might also increase your willpower.

Get rid of anything related to smoking (lighters, cigarettes, etc.) and try to avoid places that will remind you of smoking. It is also important to remember that cravings will come as your body is used to having nicotine but they often only last a few minutes at a time. Plan how you are going to cope with the cravings, perhaps listen to music, ring a friend, or play a game. You can also talk to a counsellor if you want to. They are here to listen to you and support you.

Take care,
Sam

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