Ultimately in order to stop smoking successfully, you have to want to really give up. There is no better time to give up than now due to all of the support available. Giving up smoking not only brings health benefits it can also improve your life in many ways. The financial incentives are vast including; money you save every day to reduced life insurance. Quitting smoking extends your life and you can see health improvements straight away. If you are concerned about your looks stopping smoking will eliminate the ageing effects the cocktail of toxic chemicals has on your skin.
The smoking ban in public places has turned smokers into outcasts and forced them to get their fix out in the cold. Even buying cigarettes feels like buying illegal goods and the packets are particularly unappealing. Young children cannot understand why adults would participate in an activity that is so harmful. If you are ready to start a new smoke-free life and going cold turkey just isn’t for you then the following smoking aids may help you.
We love our mobile phones and are on them hundreds of times a day so it stands to reason that we can use them to help us to stop smoking. There are many free apps available that will help you to quit the habit. They are like having a smoking counsellor in your pocket providing encouragement and rewards for your success. They calculate how much money you have saved and how your health has improved. Some provide a specific programme to follow and can be accessed at a pace to suit the speed at which you would like to quit. For details on which apps are available click on this link to our blog post evaluating different apps.
If you want to reduce the number of toxic chemicals you inhale but can’t quite stop the physical action of smoking e-cigarettes may suit you. There is continuing debate regarding the long-term effects of vaping but it is considered less toxic than smoking cigarettes. Vaping and e-cigarettes are slightly different. E-cigarettes tend to look like the real thing and do still contain nicotine which is still a harmful chemical. Vaping involves liquid that is made up of vegetable glycerine, propylene glycol, diacetyl (flavouring) and in some cases nicotine. Diacetyl is known to cause a condition called popcorn lung after workers in a popcorn factory suffered from the same symptoms due to food flavouring.
One train of thought is that anything that you inhale is harmful while another is that they are not as unhealthy as cigarettes. Chemists stock e-cigarettes and the NHS suggest them as a step towards giving up smoking. Until we know the long-term effects they could be used as a short-term stepping stone towards giving up. However long-term use may result in having to read articles like this about the benefits of giving up e-cigarettes. If you are in any doubts consult your doctor.
Smoking is an addiction and sometimes you cannot conquer it without the support of other people. Support groups or face to face consultations can help you to stop smoking by allowing you share your successes and slip up ups. If you are surrounded by others who are going through the same challenges you don’t feel as isolated. You can out about support groups near to you by contacting your doctor or searching on the NHS website.
Sometimes the body’s need for nicotine is so overwhelming that it is impossible to stop smoking without medication. Nicotine patches, spray and gum can help quell cravings but still require you to consciously act upon them. Champix is a treatment that mimics the effects of nicotine. You have a starter pack initially then take a continuation course for as long is as necessary. After a course of one tablet a day the dose builds up to three pills a day. Champix is prescription only and can be taken after your doctor has decided that it is suitable for you.
As with all medication, there are physical as well as emotional side effects. Common side effects include; inflammation of the nose and throat, nausea, chest infection, sleepiness, taste changes, cough, heartburn, skin rash, joint ache and chest pain. Some users have reported a change in mood and way of thinking. It is unclear if this is directly related to Champix or giving up smoking. If you do encounter any negative side effects please contact your doctor immediately.
October is StopTober and the NHS is running a stop smoking campaign that encourages you to give up smoking for 28 days. Click on this link to find out more about StopTober.