No butts! It’s time to quit smoking

No butts! It’s time to quit smoking

By now, most of us are well aware of the long-term health risks associated with smoking, such as the increased chances of developing cancer, heart and lung disease. And of course there are other downsides of smoking, such as stained fingers and mouth, dull complexion, prematurely aged skin and the high cost associated with the habit. Did you know a pack a day can add up to over $10,000 a year?

However, due to the addictive nature of nicotine, simply knowing all this is often not enough for some people to be able to successfully quit. Luckily there are many strategies and resources available to help.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) is one of the most popular methods used to quit smoking. Research shows it can increase the chance of successfully quitting by 50-70 per cent compared to quitting without help. Nicotine patches slowly release a low dose of nicotine into the body to reduce withdrawal symptoms, such as irritability, mood swings and anxiety. They can also reduce the frequency and severity of cravings. For those that need a fast- acting nicotine product to treat cravings on the spot, there are oral options like gums, lozenges, sprays and inhalers. These can be used in conjunction with patches, or on their own for those that only experience cravings at certain times of the day. For some people cutting down their smoking over a few weeks may be easier than abruptly quitting and in this case oral NRT can be used in between cigarettes.

 

Prescription medications

There are also prescription medicines available to help with quitting smoking. Bupropion (Zyban) and Varenicline (Champix) are used to reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings and are both available on the Pharmaceutical Bene ts Scheme. These medications do come with a small risk of side effects, so it is important to consult your GP to see if they are suitable for you.

 

Electronic cigarettes

You may have noticed an increasing popularity in electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes being used as a method to quit smoking. The Department of Health does not recommend e-cigarettes, as there is insufficient evidence to conclude that they are safe and can help smokers quit.

With any quitting method, support and encouragement from those around you is critical for success. Free support and coaching is also available from Quitline on 13 78 48, and from the QuitBuddy app. They have many resources to help you deal with cravings and triggers.

Make 2018 your year to quit! Speak to a pharmacist at your local National Pharmacies, make an appointment with your GP or visit www.quitnow.gov.au today.

 

Author
Lucy Smith,
Pharmacist,
National Pharmacies Golden Grove

Disclaimer

The content displayed on this webpage is intended for informational purposes and should be used as a guide only. This information does not replace or substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Information contained on this webpage must be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional before any action is taken based on the content of this webpage.