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Some people try to gradually cut down on the amount they smoke before they finally try and stop smoking, believing that this will make it easier.

However, cutting down slowly can actually be counterproductive and takes more commitment and willpower than stopping completely.

You'll still experience the same withdrawal effects without seeing the financial and health benefits of stopping completely.

Remember that there's no safe level of cigarette use - smoking even a small amount can cause damage to your body.

This is why there's very little, if any, health benefit from cutting down the number of cigarettes you smoke, unlike quitting entirely which has proven health benefits.

There are 4 very good reasons why it is safer and easier to quit altogether.

1. If you reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke you are likely to return to your previous level of smoking.

This is because as you reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke your enjoyment of each cigarette will rise and you will begin to look forward to each cigarette.

This will reduce your motivation to quit and encourage you to increase your cigarette consumption.

2. Smokers regulate their dose of nicotine in the blood so if you smoke fewer cigarettes you will subconsciously inhale more deeply and puff more frequently in order to maintain the blood level of nicotine that your body is used to.

3. Studies have shown that smokers who cut down can crave cigarettes as strongly as those who stop smoking completely.

When you stop completely cravings subside after a few days of abstinence, if you cut down you may have a strong persistent craving for cigarettes for a long time.

4. Finally, if you do not smoke, your decision is clear when faced with an urge to smoke - you know you should not smoke.

If you are smoking the occasional cigarette, you must decide if you will smoke on this occasion. This situation can be frustrating and stressful.

To get help and support to stop smoking, get in touch with our Live Life Better Derbyshire team on 0800 085 2299.