Smoking affects you in more ways than you would imagine; it raises blood pressure and pulse rate, can cause cancers of the mouth and lungs, and contributes to heart disease and stroke. It can also cause bad breath, poor skin, yellow teeth, and it’s expensive.
Quitting smoking may be the single most positive thing you do to improve your health. There is no age barrier to starting, and anyone who stops smoking can enjoy the following health and lifestyle benefits:
Look and feel better
Have fresher breath and cleaner teeth, hair, skin and fingers
Have more control of your life
Be fitter and have more energy
Reduce your risk of illness
Reduce the complications of existing illnesses
Have a better quality of life
Be a good role model for your children or grandchildren
Have more money
Have a healthier family as they will not be exposed to your second-hand smoke
Incredible as it may seem, you should begin to see and feel the health benefits of quitting within a very short time and the longer you stay off tobacco, the better your long-term health prospects become. Eventually, your health prospects may be the same as those of someone who has never smoked.
Becoming a non-smoker brings great benefits and quickly too!
After: The effect you will see and feel:
20 minutes - Your pulse rate and blood pressure are back to the same as those of a non-smoker.
8 hours- Carbon monoxide and nicotine levels in your blood are down by half, and your blood oxygen level has returned to normal.
24 hours -Carbon monoxide is gone from your blood, and your lungs start to clear themselves of accumulated smoking debris and mucus.
48 hours- You are nicotine-free, able to taste your food better and your sense of smell is improving.
72 hours- Breathing is easier as your bronchial tubes begin to relax, and your energy levels are beginning to increase.
1 week- You are able to sleep much better.
2-12 weeks- Your circulation has improved, which makes your skin look better.
3-9 months -Your lung function has increased by up to 10%, and any smoker’s cough or breathing problems will have improved.
5 years- Your risk of stroke has dropped to about half that of a smoker.
10 years- Your risk of lung cancer has dropped to about half that of a smoker and your risk of heart attack is the same as someone who doesn’t smoke.
So how can you start?
Most people who are thinking about quitting smoking, as a very first step will visit their local pharmacy. We in totalhealth pharmacies have a specially designed Smoking Cessation programme that our Smoking Cessation Advisors follow. We understand that this is a very difficult process and time for a person and our programme is there to support them every step of the way. We encourage our customers who want to embark on the journey of quitting to call into one of our pharmacies, and talk to our Smoking Cessation Advisors and get started. We use a combination of an initial consultation, agreeing a date, a pre Quit consultation, and first week support, follow up consultations. We also encourage the customer to engage with all the support services that are available such as
National Smokers’ Quitline- CallSave 1850201203
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
NRT increases your chances of quitting by up to 70%.
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) works by releasing nicotine into your bloodstream at much lower levels than in a cigarette, without the tar, carbon monoxide and other poisonous chemicals present in tobacco smoke. This helps to relieve the cravings for a cigarette.
NRT comes in various forms, such as patches, gums, lozenges, inhalers and sprays. The most effective form is the one that works for you. Your totalhealth Smoking Cessation Advisor will help you find the correct form for you.
Most courses of NRT last 8 – 12 weeks before you gradually reduce the dose and eventually stop.
If you are not ready to stop smoking completly, NRT can be used as a means to reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke each day.
totalhealth You 2 Can Quit Plan
Decide- Decide to Quit- Buy a notebook and write down all the reasons why you want to quit smoking. This will help you when you are really struggling.
Date- Name the date- pick a date that you know you will be comfortable with
Support- 60-90% of people who try to quit on their own will fail. You will need all the support you can get. Those people who succeed in quitting, do by getting support from a number of sources:
Visit your totalhealth pharmacist and engage in the individual programme they will set up for you. They will help you to select the correct form of NRT- Nicotine Replacement Therapy to suit you, provide you with support, motivation and information to make your quit attempt successful.
Tell your family, friends and work colleagues.
Embrace every resource that is available to you, such as the online services detailed above.
Triggers- IDENTIFY your triggers and AVOID them! If you enjoy a cigarette after dinner, plan to go for a walk or another activity at this time.
Cravings- You may experience cravings during the first weeks of quitting. Use the following technique, “The 4 D’s” from the Irish Cancer Society, to help you to deal with these cravings:
Delay- Delay at least 3-5minutes and the urge will pass.
Drink- Drink a glass of water or fruit juice.
Distract- Distract yourself. Move away from the situation.
Deep Breathe- Breathe slowly and deeply.
Lifestyle- Get fit and healthy- exercise can play a key role in helping you feel better and stay on track.
Positive- Keep focussed every day on the reasons you listed when you decide to quit.
Reward- Save the money that you would have spent on cigarettes, watch it build up and decide to treat yourself to something, after one month, two months etc
With our help, “You 2 Can Quit”.
Call today to your local totalhealth Pharmacy and ask to ask to see the Smoking Cessation Advisor.