Stop Cravings & Quit Smoking
If one of your New Year's Resolutions was to quit smoking and you tried, but just couldn't keep it up, it may have been that you didn't have a plan to help you through.
Pharmacists and their staff are well equipped to assist you in choosing the most appropriate method to quit smoking. This includes the most suitable product and a “Quit Plan” to help you become a “successful quitter”.
Just follow the following 5 steps:
STEP ONE: Deciding to Quit
There needs to be a conscious decision to quit smoking.
Some benefits of stopping smoking include:
- Increased confidence
- Improved fitness
- Saving money
- Improved senses of smell and taste
- Better appearance
- Improved fertility
STEP TWO: Understanding Triggers
People smoke for various reasons as follows:
- Emotional Factors – feeling stressed, upset, anxiety, angry, frustrated or happy can all cause people to smoke
- Social Pressure – feeling part of the crowd, smoking and drinking socially with friends
- Habit – feeling used to completing activities while smoking
- Addiction – to satisfy the craving for nicotine
Avoiding triggers and finding alternatives during this period will help you resist cravings
STEP THREE: Plan and Prepare
- Smokers need to set a date to stop smoking and they need to inform their families and friends of this.
- Throw out ashtrays and all cigarettes to avoid temptation.
- Stock up on healthy snacks.
- Plan activities to keep occupied.
Avoid situations whereby you may be tempted to smoke.
STEP FOUR: Consider Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and Support Services
There is a link between the amount of support quitters get and the likelihood of them staying a quitter. There are many options that you can consider to assist you eg; Nicotine patches, Nicotine chewing gum, Nicotine lozenges, Nicotine micro tabs or Nicotine inhalers
STEP FIVE: Quit
On the nominated quit day ensure you stop smoking completely and commence NRT you have chosen.
When quitters feel the urge to smoke suggest they need to do something else; go for a walk.
Cravings will be the strongest in the first week and then they will gradually subside.
Quitters need to eat healthy and drink plenty of water. You need to avoid substituting one unhealthy addiction for another so you should try and avoid caffeine, alcohol, fatty foods, and sweets.
Nicabate offers free access to the Committed Quitters (CQ) programme which will provide personalised service and advice to quitters seven days a week.
For additional product information on Nicabate visit www.nicabate.com.au
Nicorette provides a support service called “Steps to Success Support Plan”. This includes reminders and constant support through the quitting process.
For additional product information on Nicorette visit www.nicorette.com.au
Quit Australia has a Quitline (phone 131848) and a website (www.quit.org.au) for advice and support.
Information regarding the National Tobacco Campaign can be found through the department of Health and Aging (Population Health Office (02) 6289 1555 ) or online at www.quitnow.info.au. This website contains graphic images that may offend some people.
Common objections to quitting smoking
I need to smoke in order to relax and deal with stress. There are many alternative options you can adopt to relax and relieve stress so give this a thought, for example going for a walk, yoga, catching up with friends, reading, listening to music
I know people who smoked all their life and they lived to a ripe old age. We do hear stories like these however in reality the statistics are against you. One in two smokers dies prematurely with half of them in middle age. I guess these people may have lived even longer if they had not smoked.
I only smoke a few cigarettes, say 6-8 cigarettes a day. Unfortunately there is no safe level of smoking and every single cigarette you smoke is doing you damage. It is estimated that regular smokers can lose around 11 minutes off their life with every cigarette they smoke.
I’m worried that if I stop smoking I will put on weight. This is a common concern however the reality is that not all smokers gain weight when they quit. If people do gain weight, the gain is usually small, less then 2 kilos. If you are concerned about weight gain, remember to exercise regularly and eat sensibly while you are quitting. If you do happen to feel hungrier than usual then select healthy snacks and nibbles, like fruit to eat.
I just smoke socially and don’t smoke every day therefore I don’t need to think about quitting. Smoking is a known addiction and can be divided into three parts – physical, habit, and feelings. Just because you do not smoke on a daily basis you will still experience habits and feelings that are associated with smoking which does make you a smoker.
I don’t want to get depressed. Quitting smoking can make you feel a lot more in control because you personally have the control and not the nicotine. It is important to reward yourself – you can use the money you’ll save by quitting smoking to do this. If you are concerned about getting depressed would you like to talk to our pharmacist about this
I’m not ready to quit yet because of the stress from moving house/new job/relationship. So what you are telling me is now is not the best time for you to quit however don’t keep putting it off. You need to set your quit date even if it is a one or two away.
I have my smoking under control and can give up any time I want. I like smoking and do not want to quit right now. Have you considered looking at what smoking actually does to you and how it affects the people around you? Perhaps quitting sooner rather than later will be better for your health. It is also an interesting exercise to calculate how much money smoking is costing you, perhaps by giving up you may be able to take that holiday or buy that thing you have always talked about.
I won’t be able to deal with withdrawal. You are correct, nicotine is an addictive drug therefore you may experience some withdrawal symptoms when you quit smoking. These symptoms are only temporary and there is support available to help you get through them, for example Nicotine Replacement Therapy:
Other products that can help during quitting:
- New Toothbrush
- Mouth Washes
- Breathe Fresheners
- Weight loss products
- Calorie counter books
- Healthy snack foods
- Multivitamins, Berocca and Vitamin C
And don't forget, if you would like any help and advice please speak to any of our friendly pharmacy staff.