What is Stoptober?
Stoptober is a social movement of people giving quitting a go for 31-days! Just like Dry July or Junk Free June, everyone sets a goal to go a month without cigarettes. Quitting smoking for a month is always easier in groups, so get your friends and family together and give it a go this October! See how much better you feel after a month without cigarettes!
What do I get out of this?
The great thing about the Stoptober challenge is that it’s only one month! 31-days isn’t too long to stick at something and during this time you will receive weekly messages of motivation along with tips on how you can stay on track.
The added bonus is that you’ll have your support crew that you assigned also to help keep you motivated. We’ll be messaging them as well to remind them to reach out and cheer you on.
When does it get easier?
You’ll often hear people reassuring you that things do get easier over time. We say it because it’s true.
When you quit you can feel a bit grumpy, find it hard to concentrate, and sometimes you even feel like you’ve lost a friend.
These feelings are all part of stopping smoking – we usually refer to these feelings as tobacco withdrawal symptoms. They are usually at their worst in the first 2-4 weeks of quitting, but they will lessen over time as your brain and body readjust to not having regular doses of tobacco smoke.
Do I really need stop smoking medication?
There are no magic cures (unfortunately) for stopping smoking, but stop smoking medicines such as gum, lozenges and Champix can make it a lot easier.
These medicines all work by taking the edge off cravings and other withdrawal symptoms that people get when they quit smoking, but they won’t stop you thinking about having a smoke. In a way, they are a bit like cold and flu remedies – they make getting through the day just a bit easier, but they’re not a cure. You know you need to ride it out and that there is a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’!
Remember if you have any questions about these medicines, you can ask us any question on our Facebook page. We’ll answer any questions that you post, or if you’d rather not share it with everyone you can private message us.
When I had gum and lozenges I felt sick. Why is that?
Nicotine gum and lozenges are not like normal gum and lozenges and need to be used in a certain way. Unlit and Quitline are great websites that give you information about smoking medication, possible problems you might come across and how to make sure you are using the medication correctly.
Will I gain weight when I quit?
We know that some people worry about gaining weight when they quit. We know it’s easy for us to say this, but our advice is to focus on the smoking and deal with any weight gain once you feel strong enough to stay away from the ciggies.
We don’t have any magic cures for weight gain, but here are a few tips.
As you are preparing for quitting, next time you’re in the supermarket try to find some low calorie snacks (something less than 100 calories (420 kJ).
Try out some raw vegetables. You can either spend a little time preparing them yourself or you can buy them already prepared.
Don’t starve yourself in the first few weeks of your quit attempt. Hunger can sometimes make your craving for a cigarette seem a little worse.
Use your stop smoking medicine – all of these help lessen weight gain when you’re quitting.
Why is it so hard not to have my morning cigarette?
Most smokers are aware of those times or activities that go hand in hand with a cigarette. For example, that morning cup of tea or coffee, after a meal, or socialising with friends.
Your brain has learnt to expect a ‘nicotine hit’, and the associated reward, at these times which is why they often trigger a craving for a smoke once you’ve quit.
Changing your routine can ‘trick your brain’ and it may help reduce craving. Simple changes, such as swapping coffee for tea or orange juice and getting on with something else after dinner, often help.
It’s really hard at first. Is there anything I can do?
The first few weeks of stopping smoking are often tough. However, everyone can stop smoking, some just take a little longer than others. Stop smoking medicine can be a great help. While they don’t make the cravings go away, they reduce them and help you get on with your life, so make sure you keep them up and don’t stop using your medicine too early!
When you are early in your quit attempt being aware of situations that can slip you up is really important! That means if you know when you have a drink or two you are likely to have a smoke, make sure a mate has your back! Your friends are great help here!
Why is it so hard to quit?
Nicotine is a powerful drug and your body doesn’t like going without it. Check out this video to see how nicotine addiction works and how it gets easier!
What are the best things I can do to help me make it through Stoptober?
There are three really key things to help you with Stoptober:
Medicine – Going cold turkey can be tough, but choosing the right medicine can really help! Whether it is gum, patch, lozenges or medicine like Champix, they can all help reduce cravings and set you up to succeed.
Environment – Quitting smoking is hard enough without being constantly reminded of smoking, so get rid of all your cigarettes, ashtrays and lighters!
Buddies – Friends and family are a huge help when quitting so you should let them know you are trying. Give them a call when you think you might want a smoke, or tell them to not let you near a cigarette if you are going out for a drink.