the smoking habit can be very hard but it is not impossible and it
is the best thing you can do for your health - ever!
Smokers live shorter
lives than non-smokers and in addition, smoking is a risk factor for
heart and cancer problems. The good news is that these risks reduce
after quitting. So it is never too late to start on the road to
is never too late to quit… but the earlier the better for your
health and well being.
Why people don't quit
weight gain… Although
putting on unnecessary weight is not favourable for your health either,
the risks from the extra weight gain far less than the risks of smoking.
It is reported that the average weight gained is only 2.4kg (remember this
is the average!) and of course, weight gain is easily controlled by
exercise and a healthy diet.
cravings and withdrawal symptoms are too much to bear… There
is no getting around this one, many people may experience nicotine
withdrawal symptoms after they quit smoking. This is a problem that most
quitters will have to face, but be rest assured, this is a temporary
symptom and shows that your body is well on the way to repairing itself.
Symptoms may include anxiety, impaired concentration, depression and
insomnia. You may feel really bad for the first 2 - 3 days but many people
find things have improved considerably after a week or two.
3. Smoking is many
people's way of handling stress… Please remember, there are other more beneficial ways to cope with stress and to
relax. If necessary talk to your pharmacist or doctor for advice or try
stress management techniques. It is important to pinpoint and understand
exactly what causes you stress in your life and to take steps to change
Effects of smoking
If you smoke, there is an increased risk
- Heart disease
- Respiratory diseases such as asthma and
- High blood pressure
- Cancers - Many different types
- Health risks if you are taking the
- Wrinkles and skin problems
- Slower healing
- Lower fitness levels
Health Risks If you are
- Miscarriage and ectopic pregnancies
- Your child could be 'still born'
- Premature birth
- Sudden infant death syndrome (cot death)
- Low birth weight
- Complications can increase
- Retarded growth
- Childhood asthma
- Other respiratory problems during
Do you know WHY you want to
People who have quit say that it is
important to be clear about the reasons for quitting. If you are not
committed enough, you may not stay off cigarettes permanently. Some good
- Smoking kills you
- Smoking will harm your unborn child
- Cigarettes are full of poisons
- Smoking causes disease
- Fitness levels
- To save money
- To help your appearance.
Staying off Cigarette
has been noted that the first 2 weeks after you quit will be the most
challenging for you. During this period of time, it is important for you
to be very careful and plan your days as well as the types of social
occasions you attend. After this time you may feel a new found confidence
in your ability to say no but you will need to be careful for a few months
- Think of yourself as a ‘non-smoker’
from the moment you quit.
- Definitely don't believe that you can
have 'just one cigarette' and try not to allow friends or family to
encourage you to have just one - many relapses begin this way.
If slips occur, don't be too hard on
yourself but it is important to look at why you slipped up and what
situation you were in when you did. If you examine these factors, you may
be able to cope better with them next time they arise. Then set a date to
quit and try again. You can do it!
Remember - The worst is
Eventually, you won't feel that urge to
smoke, even though it is hard to believe at first but you will reach a
point where you will not even think about cigarettes. They may even
disgust you after a while. So stick with it. But it is important to
know the situations that may trigger the urge to smoke. You may need to
be prepared for these in case that old urge comes back when you least
There is always
something better than a cigarette.
Forever a non-smoker
When you feel the
urge to smoke…
- Eventually you will know the events,
moods and emotions that make you want to smoke. Such as stress, grief,
anger, guilt, hunger. You will eventually find many new ways to deal
with these events.
- Breathe deeply and slowly
- Relax your body and your mind
- Ask a friend for a neck and shoulder
- Make a change in your routine.
- Exercise to take your mind off
Change your routine....
- Start a total health plan - get up that
little bit earlier and go for a walk, take your dog so it can get
healthier too or try changing your breakfast routine.
- Change the layout of your home, the décor,
rooms etc so you feel you have changed
- Eat some sugar-free popcorn or chewing gum
while watching television or at those times when you normally smoke.
- Have a pen and paper by the phone so you
can doodle, or move around while you are talking instead of lighting up
- Find a soft toy or rubber ball to play
with or squeeze if you are feeling fidgety in the car
- Go off alcohol for a while and try a soft
drink or natural juices instead.
Another Idea - The Nicotine
For many smokers, the Nicotine Patch can
make quitting more comfortable. The patch temporarily gives your body a
steady supply of nicotine through the skin to help prevent withdrawal
symptoms and cigarette cravings. A new patch is applied once daily to the
skin and patches should be used for about 2 months.
The nicotine patch can double your chance
of success. You are likely to benefit from the nicotine patch if you smoke
more than 20 cigarettes per day or smoke your first cigarette within 30
minutes of waking.
Nicotine gum can also be helpful for some
smokers and is available from our Pharmacist without a prescription.
THE RISKS OF CONTINUING
TO SMOKE ARE MANY:
- Heart attack
- Wrinkles and skin problems
- Children may suffer
- Teeth discolouration
- General health problems