When I was little, my father used to smoke Hamlet cigars. I can remember the smell now, that kind of stale, rich, heavy aroma. It was horrible. Everything stank of it. But I’d grown up with it so didn’t think anything of it. Then I went to school and started to learn about the dangers of smoking. At around the age of seven, I remember saying to my father, “Daddy, I don’t want you to die!” Apparently it was this, coupled with him lying awake in bed, listening to me coughing my guts up as I had a horrid cold that probably wasn’t helped by a strong dose of passive smoking, that encouraged him to quit.
And quit he did! Using a somewhat unorthodox combination of nicotine patches and Trebor extra strong mints. I can vividly remember sitting in our caravan on a summer holiday with my dad using a pair of scissors to cut his nicotine patches into halves, then quarters as he weaned himself off them. I think the strong mints were to give his mouth something to do that wasn’t smoking. I must admit, it was nice to have the stench of cigar replaced by mint!
I’m so proud of my dad for stopping smoking and it’s now been more than twenty five years since he quit. Sadly, in that time we’ve lost his sister to lung cancer (she was a chain smoker of cigarettes), so supporting people to quit smoking is something I feel strongly about. So, I’d like to give one of my lovely readers a helping hand to quit. It’s never too late to stop. The NHS Smokefree website has tons of information on why it’s such a good idea to stop smoking. Did you know that the body feels the benefits of quitting just 48 hours after your last smoke? And after just one year smoke free, your chances of suffering from heart diseases are half that of someone who is still smoking? If that’s not motivation to stick at it, I don’t know what is!
Anyway, NiQuitin have sent me one of their Quit Kits, which has been put together following tips from Dr Sarah Jarvis (you know, the nice ginger doctor on the One Show). Here’s what’s in it, and why:
- A notebook – Dr Jarvis recommends that you start by writing down your motivation for stopping smoking. Whether it’s to save money, for your health, or because of family (maybe you’re expecting a baby or have a new addition?), write it down! Then, whenever you’re desperate for a cigarette, read it and remind yourself of why you’re doing it – hopefully it will give you the resolve that you need to resist.
- A water bottle – drinking more water will help you to stay hydrated and reduce the impact of any withdrawal headaches that might come your way. You can also fiddle with your water bottle (a bit like my dad did with his mints packet!) when your hands need something other than holding a cigarette to do.
- £25 Sweaty Betty giftcard – according to Dr Jarvis, upping your exercise can really help to reduce those cravings and help your heart and lungs to recover more quickly, too. What’s not to like?!
- Pillow mist – Dr Jarvis says that it’s important to replace smoking with a new way to relax, if that’s what you’ve used smoking to do in the past. Hopefully this pillow mist will help you relax to drift off to sleep, if you’re struggling with cravings.
- A purse – keep all of that money you’re saving from not spending it on cigarettes and put it to one side – then treat yourself to something awesome to celebrate and keep yourself motivated.
I know it’s easier said than done, and I know that I’m in no position to comment as a non-smoker, but I do hope that this giveaway will encourage at least one person to quit smoking and give themselves and their family a healthier future. Simply enter via the Rafflecopter below!
Terms and Conditions
(Sorry, boring yet essential!):
There is one prize of a NiQuitin Quit Kit, provided by Pondering Parenthood. No cash alternative.
This competition is open to residents of the UK only.
Competition ends 24th July 2017.
A winner will be chosen at random using the widget.
The winner will be notified via email within 7 days of the closing date, and must respond within 28 days to claim their prize and arrange delivery.