Irish Life

Get A HSE QUIT Advisor's Insight Into How To Quit Smoking

Get A HSE QUIT Advisor's Insight Into How To Quit Smoking

Jose Ayala is one of many HSE QUIT Advisors that help people throughout Ireland give up smoking.

He joined us to lend his valuable insights into quitting smoking for good. As he says giving up smoking is the "best thing you can do for your health".

As a QUIT Advisor, Jose's role is to support and guide people going through their journey to stop smoking. Jose works directly with the quitter, which entails developing a free of charge QUIT Plan which assesses "where they're at with their smoking, what's worked for them before, what hasn't worked" and give them advice based on that.

The sessions, as Jose remarks, work as "checkpoints" along your journey.

"Everybody's quitting journey is different, so it's about making it their own and customising it for each person".

QUIT Advisors help everyone along their smoking journey, regardless of how many cigarettes you smoke a day or if you're a 'social smoker'. In Jose's role, he sees a wide array of people using the service, with the uniform attribute of the people being that they're "ready" to quit.

"You have to be ready," says Jose. "You have to want to quit, that's one factor.

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Jose outlines three major reasons why people want to give up smoking when he asks them:

Health - "A lot of people may have had health issues or are thinking about their health... things like being able to run up the stairs without being breathless or picking up their grandkids and play without getting breathless, those things might trigger people into wanting to think about their health."

Money - "People might want to save some money, smoking isn't exactly cheap these days. There's something to be said for using that incentive, to save a bit of money and that always makes a big difference for people."

Control - "People want to take that control back into their lives. At the end of the day, smoking is an addiction and the majority of smokers want to quit but I'd say being able to take that control back is a big reason why people want to quit."

"The first thing I'd say is get onto our service, get onto QUIT.ie and speak to a knowledgeable stop smoking advisor."

In general, for Jose, one of the best things you can do is make a quit date.

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"Start some planning, get the preparation going... Make a quit date and from that date on, we call it is the 'Not A Puff Rule' - which has been shown to be the scientifically proven way of increasing your chances of success.

"You have that mindset that once you set that quit date, you don't have a single puff of a cigarette and you commit this to yourself."

Even if people relapse after their QUIT Plan, the team is on hand to aid them in their journey to stop smoking again.

"Relapsing is a natural part of quitting smoking," according to Jose. "It's just one of those things when you're dealing with an addiction like smoking. Some people do tend to relapse, but we tell them 'Don't beat yourself up over it, go again.'

"So, you can absolutely engage with the service again if you relapse."

Jose also outlines some of his tips and tricks for people who are trying to quit smoking.

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Another tip that Jose talks about is the four Ds, which are designed to help deal with cravings.

The four Ds are: Delay, Distract, Deep Breathe and Drink Water.

"The physical cravings for a cigarette last about three to five minutes. After that, you're just obsessing it and thinking too much."

Using the HSE QUIT service means, you're four times more likely to quit smoking because, according to Jose, you're "engaging with a knowledgeable stop smoking advisor" and they can lead you through your quitting journey.

What Is The Best Way To Contact The QUIT Team and HSE QUIT Advisors?

A list of HSE QUIT Advisors, as well as information on clinics and locations can be found on QUIT.ie.

You can also freephone 1800 201 203 or freetext 'QUIT' to 50100

Sean Meehan

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