You may have been debating quitting smoking for some time now. You’re well aware of what a drain on your budget they can be, but it’s easier said than done to give them up for good.
Believe me, we know how you feel; we have one ex-smoker on the team (that’s me…) and two others who regularly step out into the cold to light up.
Look at the budgeting you can do: cancelling a mag subscription? Easy. Buying more own-name brands than the more expensive food labels? A doddle. But, those cigs keep coming back, almost as if they’re taunting you. We don’t give a fig about your budget, they squeal, so we’re not going anywhere…!
Have a heart
On Wednesday, British Heart Foundation (BHF) runs its annual No Smoking Day, in association with WeQuit. Their recent research shows that nearly a third of smokers surveyed admit they feel bad about it, and want to quit for the sake of their loved ones and overall happiness.
The study also showed that money matters often prick the conscience of smokers; as just over a third said they feel guilty about the amount they spend on cigarettes and a similar number stated they avoid thinking about it.
Imagine how hard it can be to quit with all these negative feelings swimming about, causing stress and making those cigarettes seem all the more tempting.
Swap the fags for swag
BHF has taken an interesting tactic this year. We’re all aware of the health benefits of quitting smoking, but do we really understand the financial benefits?
They’ve got a page on their website that will tell you how much money stopping smoking will save you and what you could use it for.
For instance, someone who smokes 50 cigarettes a week is spending approximately £76 per month. This would be enough for a great new haircut, tickets to the theatre, even a therapeutic massage to ease away any stress in the absence of nicotine.
Saving this up over the course of the year could even take you on a skiing holiday – the sky’s the limit!
What else can I do to quit?
Luckily, no one expects you to quit on sheer willpower and swag possibilities alone. Here are some more tips on how to quit smoking the right way:
- Talk to your doctor: they can look into all kinds of methods to keep you on track. These can range from nicotine patches and tablets to cognitive behavioural therapy (teaching your brain to recognise a craving and deal with it) and even hypnotherapy.
- Pick up a Quit Kit: This is a box of practical tools and advice offered by NHS Smokefree. It was developed by smokers and ex-smokers alike and has helped thousands quit successfully. (available to residents of England only).
- Find your nearest support group: A problem shared is a problem halved, as the saying goes. Your doctor can put you in touch with your closest support group, and WeQuit has a forum where you can chat to other wannabe quitters.
How does all this help a StepChange client?
Very often we speak to clients who dearly want to free up some money in their budget. They look at everything they spend – from the food shopping to the kids’ pocket money – looking for reductions, but the option of reducing the cig costs can often seem an impossible task.
If you want to quit but you’re struggling, we’re hoping this great app will have given you that extra little push. Who knows? Maybe it can help you get out of debt quicker.
Do you have any tips for quitting the cigs? Let us know in the comments…