GRAMPIANS residents are still the mostly likely to take a puff in the state despite new research showing two in three regional Victorians who have ever smoked have kicked the habit for at least a year.
Quit Victoria’s boss is urging people across the Grampians to resist lighting up this festive season – no matter how stressful or social the lure may be.
More than one in five adults in the Grampians region smokes, daily or occasionally, compared to the state average of 16.7 per cent and 17 per cent in all regional Victoria.
Almost one in four Grampians adults have quit smoking.
Quit Victoria director Sarah White said these such figures for the Grampians were still high, but it was important to note the Grampians region started at a much higher smoking rate than other Victorian regions.
Dr White said the gap was closing between regional and metropolitan smoke-free rates, and the Grampians was on this trend.
She encouraged people to keep trying to resist in what was a particularly “dangerous” time of year for people to have quit, just as any addiction, to “fall off the wagon”.
It’s also a trap to say I’ll just have one because actually most people who just have one, it can turn into one a week or one a day and they end up smoking more and more.
“A lot of people say I know my trigger, but it’s really important to then ask yourself what it something you can do about it,” Dr White said.
Dr White said having a plan to try and negate triggers was crucial. This is being clear in knowing what you might do if you start wanting a smoke if in a social situation with lots of people around, with a drink in your hand or getting a bit stressed with family or Christmas shopping.
“Deep breathing or distractions, like a podcast, a walk around the block or a quick call to the Quitline, can help you overcome stressful or social situations without cigarettes,” Dr White said.
“Remember, there are now more former smokers than current smokers in Victoria, which shows quitting is entirely possible.”
Dr White reiterated not every technique or smoking cessation method worked for everyone and it was important to work with your general practitioner or pharmacist to find what was right for you.
- Quitline: 13 78 48.
Quit’s top tips when a cigarette craving hits
Put some calming tunes on and (try to) relax. Get rid of any ashtrays and lighters and grab some candles or an air freshener to cover up the smell of smoke.
FIND SOMEONE OR SOMETHING TO DISTRACT YOU
Grab a book or magazine, cook a healthy meal or call a friend. Do something to occupy those crucial minutes and keep yourself busy.
KEEP YOUR HANDS BUSY
Flip a coin, squeeze a stress ball, grab a water bottle, pat your pooch or pick up a pen and start doodling.
KEEP YOUR MOUTH BUSY
Think gum or lozenges, sip some water or eat a healthy snack like nuts or fruit. If all these don’t work, try brushing your teeth. You will feel fresh and clean and hopefully the cravings will have passed once you’re done.
If you’re feeling stressed, go for a brisk stroll around the block or exercise. Make it something you enjoy like yoga, kicking the footy or boxing. Grab a mate to help keep your mind off the smokes.
If you know you’ll be craving a cigarette at a certain time, place or in a situation, prepare and change up your routine. Try a fast-acting form of nicotine replacement therapy like mouth spray, gum, lozenge or inhalator a few minutes before you think a craving may hit.
CALL QUITLINE (13 7848)
Also head to the Quit website for advice on how to get back on track.
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