Quitting smoking is always possible with the right method and this can include therapy and resources from the NHS, e-cigarettes and prescription tablets, as well as over the counter methods such as gum and patches. Whatever technique you adopt when looking to stop smoking, a combination of effective treatment to suit your lifestyle and willpower will be your biggest aid.
To aid you in quitting smoking you can buy prescription tablets such as Champix - an effective smoking cessation medication available - after completing a free consultation with us online. When your consultation is approved our doctor will issue a prescription and pass it to our pharmacy where it will be dispatched for free next day delivery.
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Smoking is a widely publicised habit with only negative effects. The biggest preventable cause of death in the world, quitting this addictive substance is difficult however there is a whole host of methods that can help you stop smoking for good. When you smoke cigarettes you place yourself at a higher risk of a number of critical and long-term health conditions, however did you know, that 20 minutes after stopping smoking, your pulse decreases back down to a normal level.
Cigarettes contain nicotine, which is the highly addictive substance that makes the habit hard to quit, especially permanently. This makes going "cold turkey" (stopping smoking abruptly with no further insistence) near impossible for the vast majority of smokers. In fact, most smokers looking to quit end up relapsing when trying to go it alone, which is why there are many treatment and methods out there designed to help.
Health conditions directly associated with smoking include lung cancer, liver cancer, throat and mouth cancer, bladder cancer, stroke, cardiovascular diseases (heart disease), cervical cancer, kidney failure, erectile dysfunction, high blood pressure and infertility. Smoking has also been known to reduce the effectiveness of certain contraceptive methods and should always be mentioned during a doctor's check-up. In fact, when experiencing any range of condition from treating obesity to impotence, doctors will always recommend quitting smoking.
The cost of cigarettes can be a significant factor in choosing to quit smoking with many smokers being able to save at least hundreds of pounds a year depending on the extent of their habit. In addition to cigarette costs for the individual, NHS resources will decrease when becoming an ex-smoker based on those needing medication or treatment for smoke related conditions and illnesses. At the present time, these costs are approximately £2 billion every year.
As a smoker, you aren't the only one at risk of developing serious health problems, but non-smokers in your environment are also more likely to develop respiratory problems due to exposure to secondhand smoke. The smoke exhale from a cigarette that is visible is only a small percentage, with much of the smoke being invisible to the naked eye. NHS figures show that the amount of children being exposed to said smoke is significant with doctors and GPs receiving visits from approximately 250,000 children due to secondhand smoking.
Most people know that smoking has a negative impact on the body, including the lungs, heart and skin. However, long-term smoking may have a more harmful effect than you realise. The tool below illustrates the various body parts that are specifically affected by both direct and passive smoking:
Quitting smoking firstly requires the willpower and desire to stop permanently. Without this, any method will be an uphill struggle and the success rate reflects this. Smoking cessation treatments vary from person to person and quite often, a combination can work the most effectively. For example, many people call upon the NHS resources often available for free at your disposal as well as proven medication, whether that's in the form of tablets, patches or nicotine gum.
When deciding to stop smoking, there are usually some factors to consider, which can be discussed with your doctor or medical professional. This may include your age and other lifestyle choices as well as medical history of yourself and your family. It may also depend on the number of cigarettes you smoke daily. You should plan your attempt to stop smoking carefully for better results:
Plan a date that you want to quit smoking. Mark it on your calendar and use the time before it to let your friends and family know that you're quitting. Research has shown that people who actually set a date tend to be far more successful.
Create your own 'quitting' bible by writing a list of reasons why you want to stop. It helps if you write down a list of smoking facts that will remind you how it harms your body.
Get rid of any cigarettes, ashtrays and lighters. This will help to prevent relapse.
Work out how much you'll be saving by giving up smoking. Looking at this calculation can even be helpful after you've given up smoking, as it can be used to provide you with substantial motivation when it is required.
Knowing what to expect when you do quit will make you more prepared for it when it happens. When you quit smoking, you can expect:
Quitting smoking will bring side effects – most commonly known as cravings – and a gradual process is always favoured over a quick fix. For example, prescription medication such as Champix is taken over a 12-week course with many people choosing to continue with a second dosage, whilst patches and gums must be applied continually to maintain the nicotine intake your body has become accustom to. This combined with friends and family support or counselling can be the perfect method, but ultimately perseverance, willpower and a strong network of support will help you kick the habit for good.
Quitting smoking can affect our bodies in many different ways, not just physically but also psychologically. The main reason for these effects is that cigarettes contain nicotine, which is a highly addictive substance. This is because of how it's able to influence the hormones released in the brain that make you think that you need a cigarette. Many people find that having a cigarette in a stressful situation helps to relax them, when in fact it's just temporarily satisfying the brain's craving for nicotine.
Psychologically, the habit of having a cigarette after every meal, for example, can be as strong as the addictive substance itself. In order to cope with them effectively it is helpful to know what to expect so that you can prepare.
The side effects you experience when you quit smoking are what make it so difficult to stay smoke free, however setting an end goal in mind and realising how long certain cravings last for can help you overcome the side effects.
When you are physically dependent on cigarettes, stopping smoking can cause you some side effects, however it is important to remember that these are temporary. The above diagram shows that these effects can range from diarrhoea and headaches, to agitation and the shakes. Whilst these seem unpleasant, the likelihood of them lasting a long time is extremely low. In fact, statistics show that the majority of people normally experience these for a couple of days, but they can test even the most determined ex-smoker's reserve.
One of the main reasons people find that they start smoking again after giving up is the emotional and psychological effect nicotine withdrawal has on them, something that is reflected in the diagram above. This is especially amplified if you often use smoking as a way to deal with stressful day-to-day situations, or to help you relax.
There are also positive effects on your health and wellbeing that can begin as quickly as 20 minutes after smoking your last cigarette:
Some people manage to give up using willpower alone, but the majority call on extra help, which is widely available. Cravings and mood swings can be subdued so you can kick the habit for good.
Prescription medication is available and proven effective at helping you quit smoking. This includes Champix, a course of tablets lasting approximately 12-weeks. Champix has the highest success rate of any other type of smoking cessation at 50%. This increases further if you decide to opt for a second dosage of treatment (24-week course altogether). Champix works by minimising cravings and actually helps you develop a dislike for the habit. It doesn't use nicotine like many over the counter methods meaning you can steer away from nicotine dependency.
Various forms of behavioural therapy can also be explored as suitable methods and can be particularly successful when combined with a more physical method of smoking cessation. The NHS have a number of support groups, whether that is one-on-one to group sessions that are free that can be used at whatever stage in your journey. Ex-smokers can also visit these support groups in the future if they are fearful of relapsing.
Over the counter medication, also known as nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), is well known when researching smoking cessation. Whilst it isn't clinically proven and the success rates vary massively (the permanent quitting rate when using just a NRT method is just 17%) some find gum and patches to be the perfect method when quitting. NRT can come in the form of patches, gums, inhalers and sprays all available over the counter and may be advised after a discussion with your doctor or GP.
E-cigarettes – also known as vaping - is a new method often documented through the media, however this is growing in popularity. The result following e-cigarettes is still inconclusive, however they do have less chemicals than the typical cigarette and can help psychological factors associated with smoking, for example, keeping your hand busy.
Going cold turkey only works for a small number of smokers, however combining this tactic with a strong support network of family and friends can make it successful. When deciding to quit, it is advisable to tell your friends and family. This means existing smokers will be far more wary (you might even persuade them to join you) and they can help you in your time of need (during the side effects and cravings).
The NHS have their own SmokeFree app that can help you monitor your progress including the savings you've made so far, tips on continuing your journey and all online resources. The app is also free of charge. By tapping in 'stop smoking' in your app store, you will find a whole host of apps (free and paid) that can help you keep track of your progress to the point where you happily don't need it anymore.
It's never too late to quit smoking. If you are unsure of which method of smoking cessation to use, consult your GP or speak to one of our doctors online who can recommend a suitable solution for you.
At euroClinix, we only offer clinically proven medication that requires a prescription. In the UK, this includes Champix; a 12-week course of tablets. To quit smoking in as little as 12 weeks you can order your course of Champix smoking cessation pills online from euroClinix. Patients who want a reliable stop smoking treatment to give up smoking can complete a short, confidential online consultation. It will prompt you to answer some questions about your health and lifestyle to make sure you are suitable for this treatment. A course of Champix will be dispatched to your address with free next day delivery.