Giving up smoking is never an easy task. It takes hard work and determination. It's never too late to stop smoking!
Stopping smoking at any age will increase your life expectancy, providing you stop before you develop cancer or another serious disease. Quitting smoking doesn't have to be a constant uphill struggle. If you've tried before and it didn't work out then don't worry, research has shown that the more times you have tried to quit in the past, the more likely you are to succeed in the future.
Here at Travelpharm we have put together a guide of helpful tips and products which can aid you on your quest to stop smoking.
Enlist the support of friends and family. Tell them of your intentions to quit smoking and ask for their support. They are less likely to come to you for a smoke and can encourage you to keep it up when you experience a craving.
Set yourself a date to stop smoking and stick to it. This can be whenever works for you, whether that be the following day or in 4 week’s time. Try to choose a time where you will be as relaxed as possible to give yourself the best possible chance of success. Some people like to try a pre-quit patch which allows you to smoke as normal for 2-4 weeks whilst wearing it. This can help prepare you mentally in the build up to your quite date.
Throw out any old ashtrays, lighters or cigarettes. This will help you to stay strong if you have any cravings.
You may wish to use a nicotine patch to keep your cravings at bay in the first few weeks after you quit smoking.
Nicotine patches can be worn over 16 or 24 hours and come in a range of strengths to allow you to step down gradually over an 8-10 week period to improve your chances of success. The 24 hour patches are good for those who experience early morning cigarette cravings. The 16 hour patches work well if you are a light smoker who doesn’t tend to experience cravings for a cigarette in the mornings. They are also less likely to cause side effects (which are rare) but can include disturbed sleep, dizziness, skin irritation, racing heartbeat or nausea.
If you experience a craving, chewing some nicotine gum for a quick hit of nicotine can really help. If you chew the gum to release the nicotine and then park it against your cheek (repeat until all the flavour is gone), it ensures the nicotine enters your blood stream quickly and can ward off troublesome cravings.
Different strengths of gum are available and they come in different flavours so you can choose what works best for you. If you would rather, there are also lozenges, mints, quick acting mouth sprays, nasal sprays and inhalators available.
Through using our online consultation service you can obtain Champix tablets to help you quit smoking for good. Champix contain the active ingredient Varenicline and work by occupying the nicotine receptors in the brain to curb pesky cravings. It also blocks nicotine from cigarette smoke from having any effect and is thought to be more effective than nicotine replacements such a patches and gum.
Champix are prescription only tablets and can be prescribed for suitable patients using our free online consultation service.
Stopping smoking can cause withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms such as sputum production, cough, and increased appetite alongside feeling restless, irritable and tired are all normal. They will get better over time, but it is important to recognise these signs and take action in the first few weeks to prevent relapse. Try to stay hydrated to avoid headaches and help curb your appetite.
Keep busy to take your mind off withdrawal, but try to avoid situations such as a night on the town where you would normally smoke for the first few weeks. Keep your nicotine products handy for when cravings strike. Some people find it helpful to write a journal of their thoughts and feelings during the quitting process and others find immersing themselves in a new hobby to be helpful.
When it feels tough, try to remember why you chose to quit in the first place. Perhaps it is for your health, the health of your family or to cut down on costs. When you feel like smoking, it may help to write down these reasons to keep you focussed.
The only way to stop smoking is to use your willpower and determination. You are capable of quitting and with the support of family and friends alongside the tips in this guide, you can find a way that works for you.