From the get go I do want to say this is a sponsored post but the topic is very close to my heart, albeit a little off piste from what I usually write about but please bear with me...

Stoptober. I am from a family of smokers (other than my mother who doesn't and hasn't ever smoked) and as a result I have grew to hate smoking. I loathe the smell and all that they can and will do to you.
My Granddad has recently been told that as a result of smoking when he was younger (he hasn't smoked in the last 30 years) has damaged his lungs beyond repair. He has to take various medication, has a horrid wheeze and won't ever get better. Basically don't ever be tempted to start the habit. On the flip side I also hate sob and scare stories, if you do smoke, quitting has to be your choice. What you should know is that there is support out there to help you succeed. As a matter of a fact I have been sent some advice from Boots to help anyone who should wish to stop once and for all:

Tip 1: Quit your own way When you begin your smoke free journey, it is important that you know your smoking habits and chose a time to quit that is right for you. Many people find that starting their quit journey on a Wednesday is easier than starting on a Monday.

Tip 2: Know your smoking triggers Breaking a smoking habit is difficult as it’s often a part of your daily routine and something you may tend to do without even thinking about it. However, more often than not there are factors that can trigger these habits or make you want to smoke. For some people it goes hand in hand with a night out, for others it may be part of their morning coffee routine. It is important to know what your triggers are so you can put a strong plan of action in place to help you avoid them while you are on your smoke free journey.

Tip 3: Swap smoking for a new hobby  It is normal to get a little irritable when you quit smoking. Why not distract yourself by taking up a new hobby such as learning a new language, trying a new recipe or playing sport? By keeping yourself busy you are more likely to reach your smoke free goal as well as learning something new. Or you could simply get round to doing something you've been meaning to do for a while - clearing out your wardrobe, putting up a new shelf, even cleaning the windows?! Creating a list of all the things you want to do and then ticking something off that list (even the smallest thing) can you give you a great sense of achievement.

Tip 4: Don’t give up giving up Many smokers try on more than one occasion to give up cigarettes. If you have a smoking relapse, try not to be disheartened. Instead, examine what caused you to smoke again, so that you can look out for the signs and find a way to overcome this on your next attempt. Remember that giving up smoking is not easy and celebrate each day that you remain smoke free. Sometimes a visual tracker can help. Why not buy a wall planner or calendar on which you can cross off each smoke free day so you can see how well you are doing and increase your confidence in yourself? Tip 5: Reward yourself. Don’t be too hard on yourself! Giving up smoking is a huge challenge and each day that you stay smoke free is an achievement - something many  people strive to achieve. In fact, 61% of smokers say quitting smoking is one of their lifetime’s ambitions so make sure your celebrate, perhaps by setting yourself small targets and treating yourself when you reach them.

If you are looking to quit I hope the above advice spurs you on but you can also find more tips and general pointers via Boots UK Stop Smoking. I wish you all the luck in the world and know that with determination anyone can quit. Just think of all that money you will save? Hello shopping splurge! There will also be an upcoming Twitter Stoptober chat in which experts will be on hand to answer any question and of course talk to those in a similar position. I am waiting on the final details (date and time) of said chat and will update as soon as I have such information.

Good luck - I know you can do it!

This is a sponsored post.