It’s probably fair to say that most of us are aware of the dangers of smoking by now. The bottom line is that smoking has been proven to cause a whole host of health problems, not only for the smoker but for those who take in the second-hand smoke into their system indirectly.

Even though we know the dangers of smoking and that it isn’t good for us or anyone around us, many of us still choose to keep smoking. And while some may say it’s not a choice but an addiction, it’s important to not let that be the reason (or get-out clause) for continuing to smoke.

Yes, it is true that quitting may be difficult and that you are addicted to nicotine, but you can still change your life – the sooner the better.

Here are some tips to help you stop smoking and take charge of your health:

#1 – Go cold turkey. This may sound easier said than done, but many experts believe that a little of something bad isn’t necessarily the right thing when it comes to smoking. Research has proven that many of those who try to quit slowly don’t end up quitting at all.

Take a few days off work or away from the family. Accept that you will go through very low moods and severe cravings. And quit the habit. Keep all cigarettes out of the house and make a pact not to buy any more. This will be challenging but it can be done; others have done it and so can you.

#2 – Stay away from temptation. It’s never going to be easy to quit smoking if you’re surrounded by smokers. If you’re trying to quit, stay away from situations and people that may make it too tempting for you to go off track. You won’t have to do this forever – only in the initial stages until you feel more in control.

#3 – See a hypnotist. Hypnosis has helped many people quit bad habits. It’s worth a shot considering what you can gain if it does actually work. Go into the session thinking this will work rather than doubting it. If you go in with a positive attitude, ready to change your life, you stand a better chance of success.

#4 – Chew gum. Psychologically you’ll experience the need of needing something to do when you quit smoking. Instead of opting for that cigarette, try chewing gum. Stay away from nicotine gum as this may make things worse, and opt for regular gum instead. By chewing you stay busy and avoid the temptation to smoke.

#5 – Exercise. This is the time to do some real heavy physical exercise. You’re going to get cravings and you may experience mood swings and a pent-up energy that absolutely needs to be released. Go for a quick fast run, use a punch-bag, do an aerobics class – the more physical, the better. By replacing physical activity for smoking, you’ll not only reduce your cravings but you’ll help your overall health too.

While there’s no denying that quitting smoking is difficult, it is very possible. Use these tips to help you gain control and stay on track.