Now is the time to quit

Nipping it in the bud

It is a struggle to quit smoking. Social occasions, habit or the need for a guilty pleasure might all tempt you to indulge in “just one more” and before you know it you’re back to square one. It is, however, worth chucking those ciggies once and for all and with World No Tobacco Day taking place on 31 May; there’s no time like the present to kick those butts.

According to the World Health Organisation, “about 6 million people die from tobacco use every year, a figure that is predicted to grow to more than 8 million a year by 2030” if things don’t change dramatically. Not only do cigarettes harm your health, they also impact families and eat away at money that could be better spent.

While most smokers know this, it is still difficult to go cold turkey, and it might take you a few tries before you finally get there. Withdrawal symptoms, stress, and weight gain are all motivators to start smoking again, according to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For this reason, adapting your lifestyle can really support you in your decision to stop.

Many smokers will use weight gain as an excuse to hold on to their unhealthy habit. You can’t quit because you’ll pick up the pounds, right? Rest assured, all smokers don’t gain weight.

According to CANSA and TAG (Tobacco Action Group), smokers who want to quit should try adopting an active lifestyle. Head to the gym to train, go for a quick run or take a walk around the block. If you’re just starting a fitness routine, it might help to sign up with a personal trainer who can work out a personalised training schedule for you, and motivate you to stick to it.

Hale and Hearty

It’s also essential that you follow a healthy diet that will support your body during this time, and prevent weight gain. Consult a dietician who can work out a sustainable, healthy eating plan for you. You can find a wide range of gyms, personal trainers and health specialists at

Regular exercise, a healthy diet and plenty of water will all support your body as it flushes out the nicotine. In the end, adopting a better lifestyle will also reduce anxiety and stress, which will in turn make that cigarette seem less tempting next time around.

Finally, if you are planning to quit it is important to have a strong support system that will encourage you to steer clear. According to, when it comes to quitting “emotional support can boost success rates higher than medicines alone.” Share your plans to quit with your personal trainer, gym buddy, friend or family members, and ask them to hold you to it.

There is no time like the present to kickstart a healthier life.

About My Health and Fitness

Welcome to My Health and Fitness, a rich source of articles to help you become the best version of yourself. From diet to exercise and general health, our content contributors (including Biokineticists, Physiotherapists, and Fitness Professionals) will cover all your frequently asked questions and more! If you would like to become part of our content team as a health and fitness professional, please email us at

Disclaimer: Our articles are not meant to replace any medical advice as given to you by your doctor or healthcare specialist. Always consult your doctor before trying out a new exercise routine or making drastic changes to your diet, especially where pre-existing conditions are applicable.

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