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How to quit smoking this World No Tobacco Day

‘Smoking kills’ – Warnings like these are plastered all over cigarette packets in an attempt to warn individuals about the health risks of smoking. And these health risks aren’t to be taken lightly either. Did you know that smoking releases many chemicals such as tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide which cause great harm to the human body? It can put you at risk for cancers (especially lung cancer), heart diseases, cerebrovascular disease, and many other smoking-related illnesses, according to the Centre for Health Protection (CPH).

If you’ve finally plucked up the courage to give up smoking, then kudos to you for putting your health first. It’s not always easy to do so, given the addictive nature of smoking. As such, Pacific Prime Hong Kong would like to point you towards the Integrated Smoking Cessation Hotline at 1833 183 to help you on your journey to quit smoking. On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day, which occurs annually on the 31st of May, we’d also like to offer you 5 easy steps to say no to cigarettes for good.

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1. Remind yourself of what the benefits of quitting smoking are, and why you want to do so

Every time you get the urge to smoke, remind yourself of what the benefits of quitting smoking are, and why you’ve decided to do so. This will give you a renewed sense of motivation and help with your willpower. The following offers some examples, but feel free to tailor them to suit you:

  • Smoking is bad for my health. If I quit smoking for good, I’ll have less risk of getting health problems. I’ll also feel healthier, have more energy, and breathe easier.
  • Cigarettes aren’t cheap. If I quit smoking for good, I’ll save money on cigarettes, which I can use for _____.
  • Smoking can increase health insurance premiums. If I quit smoking for good, I’ll also save money on health insurance, which I can use for _____.
  • My kids need a good role model. If I quit smoking for good, there’s a lower chance that my kids will smoke.

2. Coping mechanisms: Be prepared for and learn how to deal with the withdrawal effects of quitting smoking

Cigarettes have nicotine, an addictive and feel-good substance. Therefore, as you quit smoking, you’ll have cravings that are caused by nicotine receptors in the brain. Ignoring those receptors leads to withdrawal symptoms, which usually last for 2 weeks. Understanding how to deal with them can make you less likely to give in to your cravings. These include:

  • Coughing or tightness in your throat: You can drink water or suck on a throat lozenge, and wait for it to ease with time.
  • Constipation or diarrhea: You can drink 8 to 10 cups of water each day, and incorporate more fiber into your diet by eating fruit, vegetables, and cereals.
  • Increase in appetite and/or weight: You can eat healthily, limiting sugary and high-fat foods. You can also exercise regularly to stay fit.
  • Insomnia: You can exercise during the day to ensure a good night’s sleep. You can also relax by practicing mindfulness or listening to music, and making yourself a hot drink.
  • Restlessness: You can do relaxation exercises like deep breathing or go out for a walk/do something physical to relieve energy.
  • Sadness: You can reach out to friends or family for cheering up or do something nice for yourself. Relaxation and physical activity can also help.
  • Absent-mindedness: You can increase concentration by breaking up tasks into smaller chunks, and rest in between completing them. Making lists can also help.

3. Use Nicotine Replacement Therapy products that can help you quit smoking

Are the withdrawal symptoms too much to handle? If so, you may want to consider Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). This releases small doses of nicotine into your body, thereby reducing withdrawal symptoms and craving for cigarettes. In other words, it slowly weans you off smoking. There are many NRT products to choose from, such as:

  • Patches
  • Gum
  • Lozenges
  • Sprays and inhalers

4. Go easy on yourself throughout your entire journey to quit smoking

Quitting smoking is a big step, and may not be without roadblocks. Throughout your journey, you need to be kind to yourself. If you give in to your urges or deviate from your plan to quit smoking, remind yourself that this doesn’t make you a smoker again, and encourage yourself to get back on track.

Take it one day at a time. Make sure you exercise, eat well, and get plenty of rest. What’s more, give yourself encouragement and treat yourself with enjoyable activities and things to look forward to. This will put you in good physical and emotional health, which will help you fight your mind urging you to smoke.

5. Know that you’re not alone, and seek help from support services

There are many smokers who are on the same path as you to quit smoking. You’re not alone, and your struggles aren’t unique to you. What’s more, there are countless avenues to seek support from. You could start with your general practitioner (GP), and talk about any worries you have about quitting smoking.

In addition to this, you can dial the Smoking Cessation Hotline (as mentioned earlier in this article). They’ll offer you professional counseling and arrange referrals to various smoking cessation clinics. One of these smoking cessation services involves traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to help you quit smoking.

Looking for health insurance? Get in touch with Pacific Prime Hong Kong

Smoking can increase your health insurance premiums. This is because smoking has been known to increase your risk of developing health conditions, and thereby increase your chances of seeking healthcare and making claims. On the path to giving up smoking? Usually, you can only be regarded as a non-smoker by insurers if you’ve given up smoking for at least 2 years. However, terms and conditions may vary from insurer to insurer.

Wherever you are in your journey to quit smoking, Pacific Prime Hong Kong can advise you on health insurance options. Our highly-trained advisors take into account your needs and budgets to recommend the best health insurance for you. They can also help you find insurance for pre-existing conditions, and offer you a whole host of support services like administration assistance, insurer liaison, claims and renewals support, and more.

Contact us today to get started!

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Senior Content Creator at Pacific Prime Hong Kong
Suphanida is a Senior Content Creator at Pacific Prime, an award-winning global health insurance and employee benefits specialist.

With over 5 years of experience in the field, Suphanida spends the majority of her day synthesizing complex pieces of insurance-related information and translating this into easy-to-understand, engaging, and effective content across a variety of media such as articles, infographics, whitepapers, videos, and more.

Suphanida is also responsible for planning and publishing three whitepapers released annually by Pacific Prime: The State of Health Insurance Report, The Cost of Health Insurance Report, and The Global Employee Benefits Trends Report. Additionally, she handles the LinkedIn profiles of Pacific Prime’s Founder and CEO, as well as Global HR Lead.

Suphanida’s strengths lie in her strong research and analytical skills, which she has gained from her BA in Politics from the University of Warwick and Erasmus Mundus Joint MA in Journalism from Aarhus University and City, University of London.

Being of Thai-Indian origin and having lived, studied, and worked in Thailand, the UK, and Denmark, Suphanida also has a unique, multicultural perspective that helps her understand the struggles of expats and globetrotters.

Outside of work, she enjoys traveling to new places and immersing herself in different cultures.
Suphanida Thakral