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Stop smoking cravings: ‘Keep your mouth busy’ with a crunchy snack when quitting

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Snacking on crunchy veg like carrots could be helpful for smokers who are looking to break the habit in a New Year’s resolution according to an expert.

Joanna Konstantopolou is a health psychologist, specialising in Cognitive Behavior Therapy.

Joanna Konstantopolou told “Over one billion people worldwide are smokers and every year, over 78,000 UK residents die from smoking, with considerably more living a vastly reduced quality of life due to debilitating smoking-related illnesses.

“When people attempt to quit smoking alone, they are looking at a success rate of below three percent.

“However, as more avenues to support smokers quitting open up in the UK, successful attempts have increased by nearly 25 percent since 2019.”

Therapy is a great idea to quit smoking, especially for long-term smokers, but there are a number of helpful tips to support you in quitting.

Tips to stop nicotine cravings

Joanna said: “There are two potential avenues for cravings: chemical (nicotine) and behavioural (the act of smoking).”

Chemical options deliver nicotine to the body to help stem off the cravings.

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Joanna went on: “You could try nicotine replacement options, such as gum and patches, which will deliver smaller doses of nicotine without the harm of tobacco and tar.”

However, it may be the action of smoking you miss. To help with this Joanna said: “You could try keeping your mouth busy with crunchy vegetables.

“Try to take yourself away from triggering situations or to a place where you cannot smoke.

“Consider phoning or texting a friend and practising deep breathing.”

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Tips to stop smoking

The NHS has a number of tips to help smokers kick the habit.

It suggests making a promise to yourself to quit and remembering it when feeling cravings.

Avoid places and events where you will be tempted to smoke.

It also advised eating foods to make smoking taste worse.

These include cheese, fruit, and vegetables, while meat can make smoking more satisfying.

There are local smoking services to help you quit, or call the NHS Smokefree helpline on 0300 123 1044, open Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm and Saturday to Sunday, 11am to 4pm.

Eastenders actress Laila Morse, who famously played Mo Harris on the soap, spoke out on her battle with smoking.

The actress managed to quit the habit after 50 years. Speaking to Hello about her rash decision to chuck away her cigarettes the actress said: “I threw my cigarettes away after leaving the surgery.

“I mean, I’ve been smoking for 50 years, but it frightened me so much I just stopped.

“I thought to myself, you either quit or die. So I quit.”

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