STUB IT OUT Smoking Increases your Risk of Deadly Coronavirus – 8 tips to quit

Mar 11, 2020

CORONAVIRUS cases are rapidly surging in the UK - with the toll jumping to a staggering 456 people today.


And experts are warning that smokers are much more likely to contract the deadly bug - given their weak lung function.

Britain's top doc, Professor Chris Whitty, urged smokers to ditch the habit immediately to lower their risk of Covid-19.

He told MPs on the Health and Social Care Committee: "To be clear on smokers, my recommendation is that they stop smoking.

"If you are going to give up smoking, this is a very good moment to do it."

Professor Sanjaya Senanayake, from the Australian National University (ANU), also revealed that smokers may suffer worse outcomes from coronavirus.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak also today revealed he's hiking the tobacco tax in today's Budget - with the cost of cigarettes to go up to £12.73 a pack.

With this in mind, here are just a few ways to help you quit smoking for good and protect yourself from the respiratory disease...

1. Make a list of reasons
As a smoker, you probably have plenty of reasons to quit, but have you ever written them down physically?

Why don't you get a pen and paper and list out every single reason you can think of - from the most obvious to the little things.

Try thinking about the pros and cons of smoking as you compose your list.

When you're done, make a copy and carry it with you - perhaps type it into the notes on your phone.

If more reasons come to mind while you're on the go then you can add to it.

That way when you're feeling low you can heck it and it will help you put your priorities back in order.

2. Set a date
Set a 'quit date' - and then stick to it, says celebrity hypnotherapist Max Kirsten.

He previously told The Sun: "Make it sooner rather than later.

"If you are quitting by yourself, I recommend that just before you stop smoking completely on your quit date you try smoking another brand for at least a few days as they just won’t seem as enjoyable."

3. Change your diet
Are you someone who enjoys an after-dinner cigarette?

Researchers in the US found that some foods, including meet, can make cigarettes more satisfying.

While things like cheese, fruit and vegetables can make them taste disgusting.

So swap your usual steak or burger for a veggie pizza instead.

Or try mixing up your routine around mealtimes.

You could try getting up and doing the dishes straight away or settling down in a room where you don't smoke.

LloydsPharmacy pharmacist Anshu Kaura said: "If finishing a meal means having a cigarette, try changing your routine.

"You could read a chapter of your favourite book, catch up on your favourite show or retreat to another area of the house which you don’t associate with smoking.”

4. Change your drink
The same researchers who carried out the study mentioned above also found that certain drinks make ciggies taste better.

They found that fizzy pop, alcohol, cola, tea and coffee all made fags more appealing.

So when you're out, drink more water and juice or switch your alcoholic beverage of choice.

Some people find that helps affect their need to reach for a cigarette.

Mrs Kaura added: "If you tend to smoke more when drinking alcohol, try cutting down on your consumption or try and switch to lower alcohol or even non-alcoholic drinks."

5. Get friends involved
As the saying goes; strength in numbers.

Juliet Hodges, a behaviour change adviser for Bupa, explained: "Our friends and family are vital to our success with this kind of thing.

"They can either be your biggest supporters, or biggest liability if they’re determined to get you to drink.

"Making sure your friends are on side is really important, and better yet see if some can take on the challenge with you."
And if they're not on board? Then ditch them too - especially if they're smokers.

Surrounding yourself with other people who don't smoke will make it easier.

6. Don't go cold turkey
Quitting smoking isn't always as straightforward as ditching the fags on the first go.

Only four per cent of people who quit cold turkey are successful research suggests.

But using nicotine replacement therapies like patches and lozenges increases your chance of quitting by 1.5 times, according to the BBC.

And using an NHS stop-smoking clinic leads to a four-fold rise in your chances of ditching fags for good.

Mrs Kaura said: “NRT Stands for Nicotine Replacement Therapies which can help you stop smoking.

"These may include patches, chewing gum and mouth sprays. NRT products work by slowly releasing nicotine at low rate into the bloodstream to prevent withdrawal and reduce cravings.

“It has been shown that you are twice as likely to quit smoking using stop smoking medication than going it alone.

"If you’re unsure which NRT is best for you, visit your local LloydsPharmacy and speak to a member of our team for advice.”

7. Get active
Scientists say that even five minutes of walking or stretching is enough to cut cravings.

Mrs Kaura said: “As well as finding the right NRT that works for you, it is a good idea to be as active as possible whilst on your journey to quitting smoking.

"Exercise can work as a distraction method, as well as releasing endorphins that will boost your mood.

"This can be especially important as irritability can occur in the first stages of quitting smoking.

"Studies have also proven that even a five-minute walk or stretch can help cut cravings as it produces anti-craving chemicals in the brain."

8. Be kind to yourself
Don't beat yourself up if you are finding it hard, you'll only make it harder for yourself.

Source: The Sun

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