The Quit Process

Will I gain weight?

When you go smoke-free, your appetite and sense of taste may improve, tempting you to snack more often. Make sure you have plenty of healthy snacks, like fruit and nuts. Any weight gain need only be temporary. Once you’ve stopped smoking, you’ll find it easier to be active and lose any extra weight.

Just remember

  • Giving up smoking is the single best thing that you can do to improve your health
  • Going back to smoking just because you gain weight is much worse for your health than a few extra pounds
  • You will see the benefits to your health as soon as you stop smoking…and if you are worried about your weight it’s something you could look at once you are comfortable with your quit
  • Most people who do gain weight tend to lose it again over time


I’ve tried to give up many times, but always fail – what else can I do?

If you’ve tried before and it didn’t work out don’t worry. You haven’t failed, you have just given yourself more practice for the next time you quit.

Research has shown that the more attempts you have made in the past, the more likely you are to succeed in the future. This is because every time you are getting more experienced in how to quit.

Next time you quit spend a little longer planning. Think about why you went back to smoking and if you could have done anything different in the same situation to stop it from happening again.

Should I tell my family and friends I am quitting?

Telling your family and friends you are quitting is something you need to decide. Telling them can often mean you get extra support however, you may feel that it will put under extra pressure. Have a think about what you will gain if they know or not.

I don’t think I will be able to stop myself from wanting my morning cigarette.

Often people feel that the morning cigarette is going to be the hardest to give up. Due to the fact that you have been thinking about it can simply mean you are preparing for your quit.

Try changing your morning routine by getting up a little later, or by having a different morning drink to your usual as often having the same drink can trigger an association to smoking. Remember, if you are using a stop smoking medication then this will help with your cravings

Doesn’t smoking help me cope with stress?

Not really, except nicotine gets rid of edginess caused by falling nicotine levels. The impact of nicotine on most people is actually as a stimulant. There are better ways of reducing stress.

Is it too late to stop?

It’s never too late to stop, look how quickly you can gain a benefit of quitting

  • Within the first 24 hours your blood pressure and lungs will be showing improvement.
  • After three months your circulation and breathing should have improved noticeably.
  • After five years, your risk of having a heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker.
  • After ten years, your risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker.

What withdrawal and recovery symptoms can I expect?

From the moment you stop smoking your body starts its recovery process. During this you may find that you experience some nicotine withdrawal and recovery symptoms. You may notice that you still have the urge to smoke, feel a little restless, irritable, frustrated or tired; some people also find that they have difficulty sleeping or concentrating. Be assured, these symptoms will pass and there are plenty of things you can do to manage your symptoms in the meantime. 

Remember to try and stay focussed on the positive effects of stopping smoking like the amount of money you will save, no cigarette smells and the improvements to your health. Focusing on the positives will help you to stay smoke-free while the withdrawal and recovery symptoms pass.

Also using a stop smoking medication will help to dampen down withdrawal so it is advisable to use a medication in conjunction with support when you are stopping smoking.