London: While the smoking ban has caused many Brits to quit or at least cut down, almost half (42%) of British smokers admit their cigarette cravings are out of control and despite wanting to quit they regularly give in and reach for a ciggie, according to new research by Wrigley Extra sugarfree gum, to coincide with National No Smoking Day (tomorrow)
The survey of 1,100 smokers across the UK looked at the top methods being used by smokers to control their cravings and who has the most influence to change their habit. A strong willed quarter (24%) say going cold turkey is the most effective method, while 1 in 10 (9%) avoid friends and family who smoke or being near smoking areas.
One in ten (10%) say chewing sugarfree gum helps them to manage the stress of intense cigarette cravings. Research shows that chewing gum helps to release nervous energy in the mind. An act as simple as chewing gum can offer a quick fix for assuaging the build up of pressure on a day to day level.
Top 5 smoking avoidance techniques % of Smokers using technique
Going cold turkey 24%
Chewing sugarfree gum (without nicotine) 10%
Avoiding friends or family who smoke 9%
Acupuncture or Hypnotherapy 4%
Smoking patches 2%
The research also shows that smokers suffer from stress caused by emotional guilt when they light up. Over a quarter (26%) admit the anti-smoking views of their children tug on their heart strings, with almost one in five (15%) stating disapproval from partners causes stress levels to spiral. Strangely 2% smokers confess to starting petty arguments with loved ones or colleagues just to take their mind off the stressful cravings!
Causing The Most Guilty Tension % of Nation
My children 26%
My partner/spouse 15%
Other family 7%
Stress caused by craving cigarettes can get out of hand. Some smokers employ alternative therapies such as acupuncture or hypnotherapy to help them quit, however, simple solutions like taking a walk or chewing gum can also help manage stress, says Dr David Lewis, stress psychologist.
David Lewis, stress expert, has the following top tips to help you manage the stress and tension of smoking cravings, to give you the upper hand:
Identify when youre most susceptible to loosing control and take action! Go for a walk, drink a glass of water, or call a good friend as a distraction
Deal with the craving triggers and find ways to manage them. If youre stressed a simple thing like chewing Wrigley Extra chewing gum can bring relief as it stimulates certain areas of the brain
Set a deadline to control or kick your craving and tell someone about it. Often once weve told another about a craving it seems instantly more manageable
Celebrate your successes along the way. National No Smoking Day being just the date!