HOW DO YOU STOP SMOKING?
Recognising the dangers of smoking is the first step to quitting for good. There are several ways to go about kicking the habit, from behavioural therapy to nicotine replacement products. There is no single way for everyone to quit smoking. But it is important to note that, statistically, only between 4 and 7% of people who try to go cold turkey without help or support will succeed.
Medication such as Champix is a proven effective method for relieving cravings and symptoms of withdrawal by reducing your body’s reliance on nicotine. Champix is unique in that it uses the active ingredient varenicline, which bonds with nicotine receptors in the brain to reduce the sensations you experience when you smoke. Champix has been proven to help individuals stop smoking in just two weeks.
WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT TO QUIT SMOKING?
Nicotine is the highly addictive drug contained within cigarettes. It affects many parts of your body, including your brain, and over time your body develops a tolerance to the substance which makes it difficult to abandon the habit completely. Evidence suggests that between 80 and 90% of people who smoke regularly live with a nicotine addiction.
Once ingested, nicotine reaches the brain within ten seconds and releases adrenaline, giving you a buzz of pleasant energy. Once a tolerance is developed, more and more nicotine is necessary to reach this buzz. As such, smokers become dependent on smoking and often turn to it when they are feeling sad, tired, irritable or stressed.
Over time, smoking becomes a physical habit which is hard to break, and individuals who have quit smoking often describe feeling restless and lacking in something to occupy their hands in the early stages of their giving up process.
WHAT DAMAGE DOES SMOKING CAUSE?
Smoking accounts for more than 80,000 deaths each year in England alone. This makes it the single biggest cause of preventable deaths. Half of all smokers will die from a smoking-related disease.
Smoking affects your circulation, as toxins from cigarettes enter your bloodstream. This then thickens the blood and increases your chances of clot formation, as well as increasing your blood pressure and heart rate. You will also experience a narrowing of the arteries, reducing the amount of oxygen-rich blood circulating to your organs. This combination of factors greatly increases your chances of developing heart disease or having a stroke.
Smoking has a negative impact on the health of your heart, stomach, skin, bones, brains and of course your lungs. As well as increasing your chances of coughs, colds and asthma, smoking also causes fatal conditions like pneumonia and lung cancer, as well as respiratory conditions like COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
In fact, smoking causes 84% of deaths from lung cancer and 83% of deaths from COPD.
WHY SHOULD YOU STOP SMOKING?
As soon as you stop smoking, you will begin to notice an improvement in your overall health and wellbeing. Stopping smoking:
- Helps you breathe more easily
- Gives you more energy
- Improves sexual performance (smoking increases the risk of erectile dysfunction in men between 30 and 50 years old by around 50%)
- Reduces feelings of stress
- Improves fertility (on average, women who smoke are only 72% as fertile as non-smokers)
- Slows facial ageing and decay
- Improves dental health
- Can add up to 10 years to your life (based on a man quitting at the age of 30).
You should also quit smoking for the benefit of those around you. Breathing in second hand smoke increases risks of lung cancer, heart disease and stroke, can be particularly damaging for any young children in your home.
If you have decided to quit smoking and looking for someone to help you on this journey then you have come to the right place. Research has shown that you are more likely to be successful at quitting smoking with counseling and Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRTs) then try to quit without.
The benefits of quitting smoking are huge and it’s never too late to quit. It is a process which starts with you wanting to quit. There is a wide range of NRT products available to help you with quitting smoking. You can use a combination of products to help you overcome the nicotine cravings.
One of our team will help create a plan for you and have regular reviews with you to monitor your progress and to provide information and encouragement during this journey. We are passionate about helping our customers with quitting smoking as it has huge health benefits for the customer.
We stock some of the leading brands of NRT products such as Nicorette, Nicotinell, and Niquitin. The products are available in a range of different forms such as patches, chewing gum, lozenges, inhalators, nasal sprays, and microtabs. Come into our pharmacy or contact us for more details.