QUIT offers top tips on how to ignore cravings to Gary Cooke

Gary Cooke has revealed he is struggling in his efforts to give up smoking.

The actor and comic has gone eight days without touching a cigarette – but is having cravings to light up – especially at night time.

The Dubliner has revealed challenges he has faced so far.

He said: “I’m in week two. I’ve stopped for eight days at this point.
“Generally I have had a few challenges. The challenges are always at night time because that’s when I like to smoke – and particularly after I’ve finished a show.
“I don’t know what it is about stressful situations but they just make you want to smoke.”

Experts at the QUIT team are on hand to help Gary with top tips on how to resist pesky cigarette cravings.
They recommend practice using the 4Ds: Distract, delay, deep breathe and drink.

QUIT say: “It is normal to have cravings at this stage. Your craving for nicotine will peak at 3-5 minutes and will pass if you deal with it. This desire will weaken over 4-6 weeks. Practice using the 4 Ds.
“Distract yourself by focusing on something else. Delay until the urge passes – usually within 3 to 5 minutes. Deep breathe 20 times. Drink a glass of cold water or fruit juice.”

Now that Gary is into his second week without a smoke, he may find himself experiencing moods, irritability and anxiety, which are common side effects when trying to give up – but there are a number of coping strategies to help you through it.

QUIT offer the following advice: “Remind yourself that your choice to smoke or not to smoke is still there. Discover new ways of dealing with negative feelings rather than reaching for a cigarette.
“Remind yourself that the feeling is temporary; it will go away. Congratulate yourself for coping with life without smoking.
“Ask others to understand and be patient. Do things that make you feel good.”
Thanks to the above tips, Gary has managed to continue his attempt at quitting smoking for good.

Gary is very clear on the reasons why he’s quitting, saying: “It’s good to remember the reasons why you are going to stop. You know, my own mother died from cigarette smoking. My grandfather had emphysema.
“Even if you’re not doing it yourself, I think you’ve got to be trying to do it for your family.
“You’ve got your patches, you’ve got your gum, and you’ve got your phone line.
“No one thing on its own is going to work for you. The ultimate thing that’s going to work, is you.”

If you’d like the support that Gary is getting from the QUIT service, it’s there for you.

QUIT provides a free, personal support service to help quitters – providing a team of trained advisers, online tools, understanding and support.
The QUIT team can help you over the phone, on Facebook or Twitter, via email or text, or through Live Chat via QUIT.ie.

QUIT also has a network of face-to-face HSE QUIT services in locations around the country, providing one-to-one and group support for smokers.
A quitter is twice as likely to quit for good if they use the service, and twice as likely again if they match the support with Nicotine Replacement Therapy such as patches, gum or inhalers or medication.

If you or someone or someone you care about is a smoker, why not join Gary and set your QUIT day today? Sign up for an online QUIT plan or call 1800 201 203 to get started.

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If you have an idea for an article, story or video that might help someone else quit for good, email your idea to rachel.wright@hse.ie.


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