Stop Smoking Treatments
About Stop Smoking
THE Medical Online Doctor service allows smokers who are considering quitting smoking to have a private consultation with a doctor and have access to the treatment they need in a safe and discreet manner.
Stop Smoking Information
It is widely known that smoking leads to many health complications including cancer, heart disease, and bronchitis. Deciding to quit smoking presents a big challenge as smokers are not only physically addicted to the nicotine in cigarettes, but also psychologically to the need to smoke and action of doing it.
Whatever method you choose to help you quit smoking, will power will be a powerful factor in determining whether you succeed. By setting targets, focusing on the benefits and involving friends and family you can give yourself the greatest chance to succeed and live a smoke-free life.
For those that do smoke, quitting is likely to be the biggest single change you can make to improve your current state of health and reduce the chances of developing serious medical conditions and complications. It is estimated that around 50% of smokers will die prematurely and that 20% of deaths over the age of 35 can be attributed to smoking.
Health Benefits From Quitting Smoking
It is estimated that over 10 million people in the UK alone have now successfully quit smoking and are enjoying healthier lifestyles. According to NHS choices the health benefits of stopping smoking include:
- Easier breathing
- Whiter teeth
- Better breath
- Improved smell and taste
- More energy
- Younger looking skin
- Less stress
- Better sex
If these aren’t reason enough to quit today, the average smoker on 20 cigarettes daily could save over £2,500 in the first year alone!
Common Excuses To Avoid Quitting Smoking
1. The damage is done: Many people feel that if they have smoked for a long period, they have already subjected themselves to the negative risks of smoking and have increased their chances of cancer and heart disease permanently.
This simply isn’t true! As soon as you quit smoking, your body starts to repair and regenerate. Your blood pressure will return to normal, your lungs will clear and sense of taste and smell will improve, all within the first 48 hours. After 1 year your heart attack risk will be half that of a smoker and after 10 years your risk of lung caner will be half that of a smoker. In addition, you will stop exposing your friends and family to passive smoke.
2. I will gain weight: Most people believe that they will gain weight when they quit smoking, however this is not supported by medical evidence.
Although nicotine does make you burn calories faster, it is not a certainty that quitting smoking will cause you to gain weight. Lower levels of nicotine mean that your calorie requirements will be lower. You can therefore anticipate this and lower the calories you consume by starting a healthier diet or taking up a new sport or activity.
3. I will get stressed: It is commonly thought that cigarettes (or nicotine) helps to calm you down or relieve stress.
When you are addicted to nicotine, the cravings in between cigarettes create anxiety and stress. Although having a cigarette does help to ease this anxiety, when you quit you will not experience this anxiety or stress in the first place and be calmer as a result.
4. It’s not the right time: Many people put off quitting due to external factors and stresses in their lives thinking that this will make them less likely to succeed.
Although there are a few times where quitting smoking is less likely to succeed, in general no time is going to be the perfect time to quit. By taking the first step you are massively increasing your chances of quitting – if you change nothing, nothingchanges!
Once you become addicted to nicotine from long-term smoking, your body is used to receiving regular doses of nicotine. When it doesn’t receive this after you stop smoking, it creates withdrawal symptoms. These can include:
- Bad moods
- Stress, anxiety & irritability
- Difficulty concentrating
- Cigarette cravings
- Cold symptoms
- Intestinal problems such as cramps & nausea
Withdrawal symptoms from nicotine will be worst in the first 3 – 5 days. They normally ease after around 2 weeks. It normally takes around 12 weeks for cravings to completely pass after which you can confidently say you are a non-smoker.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
NRT works by releasing nicotine into your system at lower, more constant levels than a cigarette. It also means you don’t receive all the toxic chemicals such as tar and carbon monoxide present in cigarettes. NRT is used to replace the nicotine normally gained through cigarettes and thereby reducing the cravings to smoke. You can then slowly lower the dose of your NRT to wean yourself off nicotine for good. Normal courses of NRT last for 8 – 12 weeks.
NRT comes in a number of different forms including:
- Chewing Gum
- Nasal Sprays
- Mouth Sprays
There is no form of NRT that has been shown to be better than any other at reducing nicotine cravings, the best choice depends on the individual. IT will depend on the type of withdrawal symptoms and cravings you get, how heavily you smoked, and how quickly the nicotine gets into your system. Most people will start using patches for a baseline cover of nicotine that can then be supported by a spray or gum for relief of sudden cravings.
Champix tablets contain the active ingredient varenicline. It binds to nicotine receptors in your brain meaning that cravings are reduced and smoking becomes less pleasurable as the reward system is blocked. At the same time, it also produces slight stimulation of the nicotine receptors which helps to ease cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Champix has been shown to more than double your chances of quitting for good. When starting on a course of Champix, you should always begin with the Starter Pack (0.5mg + 1mg) to allow you to slowly and safely increase the dose to an effective level. When starting Champix, it is very important to set yourself a quit date that should be 7 – 14 days after starting your Champix starter pack. Champix is normally a 12 week course of treatment after which you should be cigarette and nicotine free.
Self-Help Tips To Stop Smoking
Changing your habits and behaviours are just as important as using the right treatment if you are going to successfully give up smoking. Try to adopt the following advice to massively increase your chances of stopping smoking for good:
- Be positive: You are far more likely to quit if you make up your mind, take action and be positive.
- Stick to a plan: Set a date in a few weeks time and make a plan for how you will quit and overcome some of the possible obstacles or stumbling blocks.
- Start a healthy diet: By changing your diet (including alcoholic drinks) you can not only decrease the enjoyment you would get from cigarettes but also can help to break the habit of wanting a cigarette after certain foods or drinks you used to have.
- Get active: Studies have shown that exercise help to reduce cravings by producing ‘anti-craving’ chemicals. It also helps to give you another activity to replace smoking and to help prevent any possible weight gain as you quit.
- Get support: Try to quit with someone else so you have someone to share your experiences with and to help keep each other on track. You can always call the NHS Smoking Helpline on 0300 123 1044 if you need support or advice.
- Identify your cravings: Try to avoid the things that used to make you crave cigarettes the most to reduce temptation. In social situations, stick with the non-smokers so you don’t think about cigarettes.
- List your reasons for quitting: Make a list of all your reasons to quit. If you are tempted or stressed and want to smoke again, read through the list first and weight up whether it’s worth it.
*RRP is based on the highest price found for a comparable online service found on 04/09/14.
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