Have you thought about quitting smoking? Have you tried to quit in the past? Failure can be caused by many reasons such as peer pressure to smoke, lack of information on how to best succeed and lack of desire to change.
Most people quit to improve their health while others may be concerned about the cost of the habit. Either way, the goal is still the same: to stop smoking.
People who smoke have a greater risk of developing many other serious health problems such as high blood pressure, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and throat or lung cancer.
The good news is it’s never too late to quit smoking and there are many benefits to be gained no matter what age you are when you give up. Within days of quitting, you’ll be breathing and moving around more easily. Within one year your risk of having a heart attack is halved. Within 10 years your risk of dying from lung cancer is halved.
The other good news is that your community pharmacy has a range of products, and the trained staff, to help you give up smoking.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ method to quitting – as many people who have tried to stop have found out.
Different methods work for different people and you may need to use more than one method to quit for good. Some people gradually reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke daily whilst others go ‘cold turkey’. Other people may choose to use medicines, counselling or complementary and alternative treatments.
There is a lot of evidence, but also a lot of myths, around smoking cessation. Talking to your community pharmacist and pharmacy staff about the options available to help you quit smoking is one of the best ways to identify what strategies might work for you.
Your pharmacist can provide advice on the evidence for various methods of quitting smoking and help you to work out a plan for success.
Additional services your pharmacy may offer to assist in quitting smoking or management of risk factors associated with smoking include:
- Smoking cessation consultation service, tailored to meet your individual needs
- Risk assessment and screening services for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases
- Health promotion activities discussing the benefits of quitting smoking