EX-SMOKERS ARE UNSTOPPABLE!

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2016: The Year You Proudly Become an Ex-Smoker

The Ex-Smokers Are Unstoppable campaign was launched in 2011 by the European Commission, and has been successfully continued in 2012, 2013 and 2015. The campaign aims to help young adults in the 25-34 age group, which represents 28 million smokers across the EU, to quit smoking.

The European Commission is taking this time of year as an opportunity to highlight the positive messages of the Ex-Smokers Are Unstoppable campaign, and to promote the benefits of a smoke-free lifestyle, as well as encourage smokers to use the iCoach app.

It’s that time of the year when most people start planning their New Year Resolutions, in which one resolves to do an act of self-improvement. Popular pledges include becoming more assertive or more environmentally responsible, learning something new, volunteering to help others, or improving one’s physical or mental well-being.

Many smokers often start the New Year determined to quit smoking. Unfortunately, not all of them succeed in their intent. The Ex-Smoker Are Unstoppable campaign encourages smokers to follow this four-step guide and make a gradual and sustainable move towards a healthier lifestyle.

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Step 1: Create SMART resolutions.

Your resolutions need to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. By setting specific, achievable and realistic targets, you’ll be increasing the success rate of accomplishing your objective. You also need to set interim milestones as well as a specific date by when you want to reach your ultimate goal. Finally, progress must be measurable. If you cannot gauge your progress, you cannot tell if you are on the right track.

Step 2: Celebrate your achievements.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Although your aim is to quit smoking by a set date, which in itself is a great occasion to celebrate, keeping track of and celebrating your progress along the way is equally important. This will help you stay focused and determined throughout your journey to a tobacco-free life.

Step 3: Know your limitations.

Do not let anything or anyone stop you. Keeping up the enthusiasm over time is by no means an easy feat. However, it’s not impossible either. You might relapse after a period of abstinence, sometimes more than once. But remember that it’s not the end of the world. Don’t give up. Instead, acknowledge the setback, identify the circumstances that slowed down your progress, and try to avoid them altogether. Don’t be shy or afraid to get help. Surround yourself with family and friends who understand and support you. You may seek professional help, and additionally use tools to help you track your progress while challenging you to do more and achieve more.

Step 4: Use tools to track your progress.

There are several tools you could use to track your progress and quit smoking. iCoach is one of them. This e-health tool is the core of the Ex-Smokers Are Unstoppable campaign, as it can help you on your journey to give up tobacco. As well as promoting the many benefits of a smoke-free life, this innovative digital health coach offers you practical help, guiding you through five progressive phases to quit smoking. It has already provided advice to more than 450,000 registered users since its launch in 2011.

This tool includes several personal, phase-specific challenges, as well as reward and encouragement messages. The challenges focus on small, attainable goals, which once achieved, will encourage you to go a step further in gaining control over your habit.

iCoach can be used away from home or your office, whenever the urge strikes. It is free and available online in 23 languages in 28 EU countries, and also has an Apple and Android mobile app.

 

The Ex-Smokers Are Unstoppable campaign is supported by the Health Promotion Unit and St Andrews Clinic.

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