OPINION: It will take seven attempts before you stop smoking

SUCCESS in any area requires a few steps - make the choice, strengthen your reasons (key motivating factors), take action and persist.

Nicotine is an addictive drug so stopping will involve some pain and suffering - so be ready for it.

Only if your reasons for stopping smoking are stronger than your withdrawal symptoms will you succeed.

Obviously the more you smoke, the more your withdrawals are likely to be so the stronger you have to formulate your reasons for stopping - money, beauty, health and avoiding impotence…

Stopping smoking on average takes seven attempts to successfully and permanently stop! If you fail once or twice - don't despair and just get back on track.

There are two main reasons for failing to stay off cigarettes - the first is the obvious nicotine addiction and the second is the physical habit of having a cigarette at certain times.

This is called smoking to cues like with coffee, beer, in the car, first thing in the morning.

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Recognise your cues and put alternative habits in their place - get up and have breakfast without having that cigarette, do a crossword with coffee, have beers where you can't smoke etc.

If you can't succeed because of the nicotine withdrawal, there are nicotine patches and medications that block the withdrawal symptoms very successfully.

Success rates are about 70% - talk to your GP about them if you have failed going cold turkey.

Other options for reducing withdrawals are hypnosis and acupuncture if you want an alternative option - whatever works, it is worth it.

Other key points are that write your reasons for stopping smoking on a card and keep them with all the time. Anytime you want a fag, pull out the card and remind yourself why you are going through the pain.

Another key is to reward yourself. Buy yourself something nice.

Have you successfully quit smoking?

This poll ended on 10 July 2015.

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This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.