Advice + Info
Giving up smoking isn't easy, but will drastically improve your lifestyle and health, so put your plan into action as quickly as you can.
The Benefits of giving up smoking
- Reduce the risk of developing illness, disability or death caused by cancer, heart or lung disease.
- Reduce the risk of gangrene or amputation caused by circulatory problems.
- Reduce risk to those around you by not exposing them to secondhand smoke.
- Reduce the chance of your children, if you have them, suffering from asthma or glue ear.
- Improve your fertility levels and your chance of a healthy pregnancy and baby.
- Improve your breathing and general fitness.
- Improve your sense of taste, and help you to enjoy your food more.
- Save yourself money, as much as several hundred pounds a month for heavy smokers.
- Your clothes and hair won't smell of stale smoke.
- Your skin and teeth will look healthier.
- You can be more confident and relaxed around your friends, you won't have to worry about secondhand smoke or having to go outside in the cold.
- Smoking is a big turn off to potential partners, so when you give up, you might be surprised by the new attention you receive.
- Your home will smell fresh and you will no longer be staining your walls with nicotine.
- Reduce the risk of fire in your home.
Nicotine replacement therapy and other medicines
There are lots of ways to give up smoking, including using nicotine replacement therapy and other medicines. The products detailed below are available on prescription from your doctor, so it doesn't have to cost you a fortune to quit!
Is nicotine replacement right for you?
Nicotine replacement therapy does not contain toxins such as tar or carbon monoxide, or cause cancer. It is suitable for most people, unless you are pregnant, have a heart or circulatory condition, or take regular medication, in which case you need to see your doctor.
Here are some of the products available to help you quit:
- Nicotine gum - When you chew this gum, nicotine is absorbed through the lining of your mouth.
- Nicotine patches - These work well for most regular smokers and can be worn around the clock (24 hour patches) or just during the day (16 hour patches). They also come in different strengths.
- Microtabs - Are small tablets which you place under your tongue, releasing the nicotine.
- Lozenges - Sucked slowly they release nicotine and take about 20-30 minutes to dissolve.
- Inhalators - Inhalator look a bit like cigarettes and release nicotine vapour which get absorbed through your mouth and throat. If you miss the 'hand to mouth' aspect of smoking, these may suit you.
- Nicotine nasal spray - This spray delivers a swift and effective dose of nicotine through the lining of your nose.
Most people have heard about nicotine replacement therapy, but what about Zyban and Champix.
- Zyban - This changes the way that your body responds to nicotine. Zyban is started 1 to 2 weeks before you quit, and treatment usually continues for a couple of months to help you through the withdrawal cravings. It's only available on prescription and is not available if you are pregnant.
- Champix - Champix reduces your craving for a cigarette, and also reduces the effects you feel if you do have a cigarette. You start taking the tablets 1 or 2 weeks before you quit, and stay on them for about 12 weeks. It's only available on prescription and is not available if you are pregnant. It may cause depression.
- Make a list of the reasons why you are giving up smoking.
- Tell all your friends and family about your plan to give up smoking, and ask them to encourage and support you.
- Take it day by day.
- Team up with other people who are giving up, so you can support each other.
- Keep your mind off smoking by developing new hobbies and interests.
- Put away the money you are saving by not smoking, and use it to treat yourself.
- Plan a new fitness regime including healthy eating and exercise.
- If you feel like snacking try to eat fruit or vegetables.
- Don't allow yourself the excuse of a special occasion, or stressful event, to have a cigarette.
- If you do have a cigarette, don't despair! Think about why you had it, your reasons for not having another one, forgive yourself, and start giving up again. Whatever you do, don't give up giving up!
Where to get help
For further help and advice click on the links. The NHS offer a wide range of support and guidance including; groups and one-to-ones run by trained advisers, information packs, online help, text alerts, and a free NHS smoking helpline on 0800 022 4 332. Check out their website http://smokefree.nhs.uk
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