Are you a smoker, but wish you weren’t? Have you tried to quit before? Have you managed to give up for long periods of time only to have one little slip and end up back smoking full-time?
For many people, the sheer disappointment and frustration in returning to this bad habit often puts them off ever trying to quit again? But, you shouldn’t let it … Never give up giving up! One in every two smokers will die of a tobacco-related disease. But it really doesn’t have to be that way – because you can quit!
Giving up once and for all
With our customers health in mind, Haven Pharmacy Burke’s offer professional advice and will put a plan in place for anyone that wants help to quit smoking. So, please speak with one of our trained advisers or ask your pharmacist if you would like advice on which Nicotine Replacement Treatment (NRT) is best suited to your needs. There are a range of very effective over the counter remedies available from your Haven Pharmacy to help stop smoking.
- Straight away you will have fresher breath, hair and clothes.
- Straight away you prevent staining your fingers and teeth and delay premature aging.
- Straight away you will have more money in your pocket!
- Within 20 mins your blood pressure and pulse rate begin to return to normal.
- Within 1 day your risk of heart attack begins to fall.
- Within 2 days you will have a better sense of taste and smell.
- Within 3 days you will feel fitter as you will be less breathless as the nicotine is gone from your body completely.
- After 2 – 3 weeks your lung function will improve.
- Within 2 – 3 months your lung capacity can increase by up to 30%.
- After 1 year your risk of sudden death from a heart attack is almost cut in half, while your risk from cancer is also reduced.
- After 5 years the risk of smoking related cancers will be greatly reduced.
- After 10 years the risk of a heart attack drops to almost the same as a non-smoker.
Help to Quit Smoking
Did you know that there are now more quitters in Ireland than smokers? Make a conscious decision to join the quitters, and start your journey today. Here are some helpful tips and advice to guide you on the road to a smoke free future.
1 - Decide to quit
It might seem trivial or slightly ridiculous to some people, but make a list. Take five minutes, and simply write down all the reasons why you actually want to quit. And then, if you ever need to, use this list as a reference in moments of weakness to help motivate you and remind yourself why you started this journey in the first place.
2 - Choose a date
Now pick a date that you are going to quit. Choose a time and date, preferably when you know you can relax and focus on quitting. And most importantly now is make sure you stick to it.
The day before, enjoy your last smoke and then throw out all your cigarettes, including any emergency supplies hidden away, as quitting outright is far more effective than cutting down gradually.
3 - Use a support network
One of the most important things to consider when trying to quit smoking is your support network. Family and friends can offer wonderful encouragement, as they will always want what’s best for you too, so avail of this support as often as you need.
There are also plenty of professionals waiting and available to offer you help, advice and support, whenever you need it. You can pop in to any Haven Pharmacy and speak to our teams for advice in a private consultation rooms. Or contact the National Smokers’ Quitline on Tel: 1850 201 203 for free support.
4 - Try to avoid temptations
You know better than anyone that certain situations or habits can increase the likelihood of you smoking. So, know your trigger situations and try to prepare in advance, or better still, change them altogether.
For example, many of our customers can often find it difficult to avoid a cigarette when drinking alcohol. So, try to remove this trigger for the first couple of weeks or months after quitting. Or maybe you always have one with your coffee on your morning break outside the office. Then change your morning routine to avoid the situation and remove the temptation for a cigarette.
5 - Learn how to cope with cravings
Unfortunately, cravings are an unavoidable part of quitting. But what’s important is to focus on learning to cope with them. Cravings can often occur frequently in the first week or two of quitting. But just remember that cravings intensify over 3 to 5 minutes, but then will always subside.
Practice the four D’s …
– Delay acting on the urge to smoke, it will pass.
– Deep breathing, calm your nerves.
– Drink lots of water, it will decrease the need for snacking.
– Distract yourself, do something else to take your mind off it.
6 - Healthy & balanced lifestyle
Many people will often experience an increase in their appetite after initially giving up smoking. This is perfectly normal, and is simply your body and mind adjusting to a habit. With a little patience and time, it will level out.
You should try to increase your level of exercise, as this helps improve mood and also manages your weight. You should avoid snacking on sweets or treats as much as possible, and go for more healthy snacks like fruit and nuts instead. If you’re fit and able to, go for a brisk walk or jog to get rid of your anxiety or stress, even if it’s just for ten minutes, as this will help both your body and mind.
7 - Stay positive
We know it can be tough, but try to remain as positive and focused as possible. In moments of weakness, just remember why you are quitting in the first place, and believe in the strength of your will power. Don’t ever underestimate your own self-drive, self-worth and resolve.
Look back at the list of reasons you put together when you decided to quit. This will shift your focus and realign your determination back to the long term goal.
8 - Reward yourself
As well as the blatantly obvious health benefits, there’s also the financial merit to consider when you quit smoking.
Let’s be honest, cigarettes are expensive. So, get a money box or a jar, work out how much money you were spending each week on cigarettes and put it away. Then buy yourself something as a treat instead.
The important thing is, be kind to yourself. Don’t see quitting as a punishment, but instead see it as a liberation and a step in the right direction to a happy and healthier life.
Nicotine Replacement Treatment
There are also many various treatments on the market to help to quit smoking. Using these Nicotine Replacement Treatment (NRT) products can increase your chance of successfully stopping by up to 70%.
If you would like any more information on starting your smoke free journey, then just get in touch with us here at Haven Pharmacy Burke’s (or your own local pharmacy). We would be more than happy to advise you and help you with your plan with choosing the right NRT products for you and your lifestyle. We have a range of patches, gum, quick mist, lozenges or inhalers to choose from.
You can also sign up for your Quit Plan from the HSE and start your journey to a healthier and happier lifestyle.
Good luck, believe in yourself, you can do it.