Do you want to quit smoking?

A sure investment! You have spent many years in the company of cigarettes, but now you’ve decided to move on to the next step. Smoking is more than just a bad habit; it’s an addiction. The good news is that everyone has the ability to kick the habit, including you!

The benefits you will get from smoke cessation are truly worth the efforts required. Take a few minutes to think about some of the rewards that are waiting for you:

  • You will take back control of your life and health.
  • Your breathing will improve and you will have more energy.
  • You will be rid of the cosmetic drawbacks of smoking (unpleasant smell, yellow teeth and fingers, dull skin, etc.).
  • Your senses of taste and smell will improve.
  • Your lung capacity will improve and you will reduce your risks of suffering from lung diseases such as asthma, chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
  • You will reduce your risks of suffering from heart disease.
  • You will reduce your risks of suffering from cancer, especially lung cancer, cancer of the urinary tract, of the oesophagus, breast cancer, etc.
  • Finally, quitting smoking will allow you to save money.

Four important steps to follow in order to quit smoking

To successfully quit smoking, you have to go through several steps. You cannot commit to this project impulsively. To succeed, you need to be well prepared and have a plan to help you reduce and overcome withdrawal symptoms and cigarette cravings.

1st step: Establish the reasons that motivate you to quit smoking

During nicotine withdrawal, the cravings for smoking can be difficult to overcome. You’ll need to remember the advantages of being a non-smoker and the disadvantages of smoking. So, it is important to identify them at the beginning of the process.

2nd step: Understand your addiction

Smoking is an addiction and a habit. It is important to ask yourself the right questions: “Why do I smoke?”, “What are my smoking habits?”, “What is my most favourite time of the day to smoke?”, “How could I replace the pleasant feeling and comfort I get from a cigarette?”. Clairvoyance is an important asset for success in this process.

3rd step: Identify the tools that will help you quit smoking

Before choosing a date to quit smoking, you must make sure you have everything you need to succeed. First, your motivation must be strong, but you must also find tools that will increase your chances for success. Using a smoke cessation aid and having the support of a health professional are without question winning strategies.

Nicotine replacement therapies (NRT)

With the products included in this category, you will continue to receive nicotine, but otherwise than by a cigarette. There are different kinds of NRTs such as nicotine patches, chewing gums, lozenges, inhalers or vaporizers. These products help reduce your cigarette cravings and the symptoms associated with giving up cigarettes, such as insomnia, nervousness, irritability, difficulty concentrating, etc. NRTs are considered first-line cessation aids in terms of safety and efficacy. Although they are available without a prescription, they are often reimbursed by a number of insurers when they are prescribed. Talk to your pharmacist or doctor about it. Your pharmacist can give you advice on the optimal use of these products and help you make the right choice. He\she will be glad to follow your progress and to offer you encouragement and advice. Remember to carefully read the manufacturer’s information leaflet or consult its website.

Nicotine-free treatments

In Canada, there are presently two officially approved smoke cessation oral medications: varenicline (Champix®) and bupropion (Zyban®). Both require a prescription. Your doctor must determine if you are a candidate for either of these treatments, according to your health status, medical history and any other medications you may be taking. Just like NRTs, these treatments reduce withdrawal symptoms and cigarette cravings. It is important to note that, before considering to use nicotine-free treatments, you should think of using NRTs first.

Whatever treatment you are considering to take to help you quit smoking, you should talk to your health professional to weigh the pros and cons of each option, according to your situation.

The importance of support

Having support throughout the smoke cessation process will make quitting smoking easier for you and will increase your odds of succeeding. Your family, friends and colleagues can be an important source of motivation and support. However, it’s also a good idea to have the support of a health professional. Also, cessation aids are meant to be used along with an anti-smoking counseling program. Giving up smoking is a major undertaking, which means that will-power alone is often not enough. Having an action plan and counting on the support and advice of a professional can give you a greater edge. Your pharmacist can offer you this kind of support. You can contact your local CLSC to find out what resources are available in your area. These types of services are usually free.

4th step: Do it

Now that you have chosen a quitting date, it is time to act. Get rid of your cigarettes, ashtrays and lighters. Congratulate yourself for every day of progress and remind yourself frequently why you felt you should quit smoking.

Some advice to help you control your intense cigarette cravings

  • Drink a lot of water. Water also helps liquefy your bronchial secretions and cleans your lungs.
  • Nibble on fruit and raw vegetables.
  • Try to avoid alcohol, coffee or other beverages you used to drink while smoking.
  • If you miss the feeling of holding a cigarette, keep your hands busy by playing with a pen, a paper clip, a marble, etc.
  • After meals, instead of smoking, brush your teeth or go for a walk.
  • Exercise, stretch and move.
  • Take deep breaths, hold your breath to a count of five. Repeat the exercise as long as your craving for a cigarette lasts.
  • Try to avoid people or situations that could incite you to smoke, at least for some time.
  • Learn new ways of having fun, relaxing and taking care of yourself.

If you are motivated and well prepared, you really can quit smoking once and for all! Take advantage of all the resources available to you: anti-smoking aids, support groups, professional counseling, etc. For more information, go to your CLSC or the smoking cessation centre nearest you.

Consult your pharmacist to determine what would be the best method to help you stop smoking.

In collaboration with
Thrive Habitrol

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Do you want to quit smoking?

A sure investment! You have spent many years in the company of cigarettes, but now you’ve decided to move on to the next step. Smoking is more than just a bad habit; it’s an addiction. The good news is that everyone has the ability to kick the habit, including you!
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