It is never too late to start your journey to improved health, well being and quality of life. Many smokers think of the new year as a fresh start at giving up their smoking habit, and Allcare Pharmacy is on hand to give you helpful advice and tips on increasing your chances of successfully stopping. We also stock a range of Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRT), including patches, gum, lozenges and inhalers. By asking you a few quick questions about your smoking habits and lifestyle, we can help you choose the product best suited to your needs. We can also recommend ways to manage cravings and withdrawals and let you know what to expect when you stop.
Making the decision to stop smoking is a great one. However, everyone’s reasons for quitting will be different. Below are some of the benefits you can look forward to when you stop smoking:
- You will look and feel better and enjoy fresher breath and nicer smelling clothes.
- You will be fitter, have more energy and enjoy a better quality of life.
- You will reduce your family and friends exposure to second-hand smoke.
- You will have more money in your pocket!
Health benefits of stopping:
- After just 24 hours of quitting you will reduce your risk of heart attack.
- After 48 hours your sense of smell and taste improve.
- After 3 days nicotine is gone from your body completely.
- After 2-3 weeks your lung function will improve
- Within 2-3 months your lung capacity can increase by up to 30%.
- Within 1 year your chance of heart attack drops by half and within 10 years the risk drops to almost the same as a non-smoker.
- Within 5 years the risk of smoking-related cancers will be greatly reduced.
Tips for quitting:
Prepare to quit: Make a list of why you are quitting – pros and cons.
- Pick a quit date: Gradually cut down your smoking. Pick a date and stick to it.
- Get support: Your Allcare pharmacist can encourage you to quit and can help you on each step you take. Speak to a family member, a friend or your GP for support.
- Don’t be worried about withdrawal symptoms: They are common. They are positive signs that your body is recovering from the effects of tobacco.
- Deal with your cravings: Remember they only last 5 minutes! Distract yourself, move away from the situation. Drink a glass of water or fruit juice (sip slowly).
- Count your savings: Put away the amount of money you would normally spend on cigarettes per week and watch it grow!
- Watch what you eat: Eat little and often and try to avoid allowing yourself to go too hungry as this may trigger cravings.
- Choose your snacks carefully: Opt for fresh fruit, raw vegetables or low-fat yogurt.
- Watch what you drink: Avoid high sugar fizzy drinks, too much caffeine and limit your amount of alcohol.
- Digestion: You may experience a difference in your digestion after quitting smoking – talk to a member of the Allcare Pharmacy Team who can give you great advice on dealing with constipation, diarrhoea or stomach upset.
- Take one day at a time: It may take a while to get used to being without a cigarette in your hand but remember the list of reasons why you are quitting.
- Use Nicotine Replacement that is suitable for you and your smoking habits/triggers to help deal with your cravings – you are up to 70% more likely to quit when you use NRT.
- Quit with others: Visit quit.ie to join other members who are trying to quit and help each other along the journey, and see useful resources such as https://irishheart.ie/your-health/ways-to-live-better/quit-smoking/ for helpful tips and advice.
How can your Allcare Pharmacist help?
Our pharmacies have a full range of nicotine replacement therapies (NRT), including patches, gum and inhalers. By asking you a few quick questions about your smoking habits and lifestyle, we can help you choose the smoking cessation product best suited to you.
Our pharmacy team can counsel you on withdrawal symptoms such as cravings, cough or sore throat and headaches, and recommend products that may aid these symptoms. Blood pressure checks can also be offered to emphasise the positive impact that stopping smoking has on blood pressure, whilst our Inhaler Review & Peak Flow Measurement Service can be offered to asthmatic patients wishing to quit. This allows them to see how giving up smoking has impacted their asthma control and peal flow score. The service can be offered before they quit and again a month later to see if there has been an improvement.
To find out more about quitting smoking, visit the team at Stauntons.