Thinking of quitting smoking? Did you know that your pharmacist can support you in this process? They can prescribe an anti-smoking aid, explain how to use it and help you develop an action plan. They can also give you tips to help you control your cravings.
Your heart does not like tobacco
Smoking causes all sorts of damage inside the body. For instance, your heart and blood vessels pay the price due of this bad habit. Toxic chemicals that come from cigarette smoke constrict and harden blood vessels (atherosclerosis) and hamper the flow of oxygen. Blood pressure increases and the heart must work harder.
Smoking is recognized as the leading cause of heart disease and strokes in Canada. Here are a few statistics of interest on that matter:
- Cardiovascular conditions alone are responsible for one third of all deaths in Canada.
- People who smoke present an increased risk of heart disease compared to nonsmokers or former smokers This risk increases with the duration of smoking and the number of cigarettes smoked.
- Smokers have up to four times more chances of sudden cardiac death than nonsmokers.
- People who smoke are two to four times more likely to have a stroke than those who do not.
Smoking cessation—a life-altering decision
Good news! Starting now, you can improve your cardiovascular health and your life expectancy by choosing to quit smoking for good. In fact:
- As soon as a person quits smoking, his/her risk of heart disease begins to decrease.
- Less than a year after having quit smoking, the risks of dying from heart disease is cut in half.
- In less than 5 years, the risk of suffering from a stroke is equal to that of a nonsmoker.
- In less than 15 years, the risk of heart disease becomes comparable to that of a nonsmoker.
Your pharmacist—an ally
In order for your approach to be a success, make sure to have all of the necessary tools from the start. Pharmacists can provide information and advice at each step of the process. They can also help you by:
- adding to your thoughts before you begin the smoking cessation process;
- establishing an action plan with you;
- prescribing a nicotine replacement therapy (patch, chewing gum, lozenges, inhaler or spray)
- prescribing an oral medication (e.g. varenicline)
- providing tips and tricks to cope with withdrawal symptoms;
- encouraging you to continue despite the difficulties encountered.
For additional information on the subject, read the following text Your pharmacist's role in smoking cessation.
Don’t try to quit smoking without the use of a smoking-cessation aid. Products in this cayegory greatly increase your chances of success by reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Your pharmacist can provide information to determine if these products are covered by your insurance and if they can be prescribed to you.
We wish you continued success and good health!