Smoking Cessation

Smoking

Cigarette smoking is a big cause of many illnesses and premature deaths in the UK. This not only affects the smokers but also people around them. And deaths are mainly due to cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, and stroke. Smoking cessation is possible with therapies and medication.


  • Up to half of all smokers die from smoking-related diseases
  • Simple to use medication available

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3 Treatment(s) available

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Champix Titration Pack
£52.00

  • It is also known as varenicline tablet
  • Helps adults to stop smoking
  • It reduces the effect of nicotine in the body


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Champix
£50.00

  • It is also known as varenicline tablet
  • Helps adults to stop smoking
  • It reduces the effect of nicotine in the body


Read more

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Zyban
£90.00

  • Helps adults to stop smoking
  • It reduces the effect of nicotine in the body
  • It takes care of the withdrawal symptoms when you stop smoking


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Description

It is never too late to end smoking which is not good for health. On an average, life expectancy is 10 years less than a non-smoker. Quitting smoking or smoking cessation can make a big difference to your health. Stop as early as possible. Cigarette contains tobacco which has nicotine. It is an addictive substance. It enters the bloodstream and stimulates the brain. Nicotine also boosts the mood and reduces depression. As it is addictive, it has similar effects such as alcohol or cocaine. It creates a kind of chemical dependency. Hence, over time, your body develops a need for a certain level of nicotine. If the level falls, withdrawal symptoms are seen.


These symptoms can be:


  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Craving
  • Weight gain
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Lack of concentration
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Hunger
  • Constipation
  • Sore throat
  • Feeling uneasy


These symptoms are relieved when you have a cigarette. Withdrawal, and the symptoms which come with it can make it very difficult for a person trying to quit smoking. However, all symptoms are temporary. They peak around 48 hours since your last cigarette and completely fade after around 6 months. Withdrawal symptoms can develop as quickly as 30 minutes since your last tobacco usage (depending on the severity of your addiction). Regular smokers are addicted to nicotine.


Besides nicotine, there are approximately 70 cancer-causing chemicals (known as carcinogens) in tobacco. Such chemicals can cause very serious, life-threatening illnesses to arise in later life, such as lung cancer or heart disease. Typically, nicotine withdrawal symptoms will pass quickly (around 2 weeks) but will be followed by long-term tobacco cravings.


To learn more about smoking cessation, see the comprehensive patient information leaflet



Causes

Conditions Caused Due to Smoking


  • Heart Disease - This is the most dangerous illness caused by smoking
  • Lung Cancer – More than 80% lung cancer cases are directly related to smoking
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease – It is a serious lung disease
  • Stroke – Smoking doubles the risk of death if you have a stroke
  • Circulation – The chemicals in tobacco can affect the lipids in the bloodstream. This increases the risk of atheroma which is the main cause of heart disease, strokes, and swollen arteries.
  • Cancers – Many other cancers are caused due to smoking
  • Sexual Problems – Erection problem is a common concern for men who smoke
  • Contraception Problems – The choices of using contraceptive reduces. Women cannot use contraceptive pills which contain oestrogen as it increases the risk of stroke.
  • Fertility – Smoking reduces fertility ration both in men and women
  • Menopause – Women smokers experience menopause early than non-smokers
  • Asthma – Smoking increases asthma
  • Infections of the lungs – Tuberculosis is the common disease
  • Psoriasis – Smoking can also affect the skin


Smoking Cessation or Quitting Smoking

It is not life-threatening for a person who undergoes nicotine withdrawal symptoms. However, you will notice some physical changes and mood swings immediately after quitting. Overcoming the symptoms is often the hardest part about quitting smoking. There are plenty of ways people can manage their cravings. Such methods include practising deep breathing techniques and frequently engaging in moderate exercise. You should also find a harmless substitute for cigarettes to curb the psychological need to have a cigarette.

Types Of Treatment

The first step of the treatment is deciding that you want to quit smoking. It is an addiction. Many are able to overcome the withdrawal symptoms, while many aren’t. Along with therapies, there are several methods which can help reduce the withdrawal symptoms.


Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)

This therapy gets nicotine into the bloodstream without smoking. It substantially increases the chances of quitting smoking. It reduces the withdrawal symptoms. You do not smoke but your body feels you do.


To use NRT:


  • Speak to a GP or seek professional help
  • Decide which of the various therapies would be most beneficial for you
  • Use NRT regularly
  • The dose can be discussed with the GP
  • The dose has to be reduced after some time and eventually stopped


NRT therapy is available in various forms:


  • Patches
  • Nicotine gums
  • Inhalers
  • Tablets
  • Sprays


Counselling also works if you are planning to quit but aren’t able to. However, the ultimate weapon to quit smoking is self-determination.


E-Cigarettes

These are devices which create a sensation of smoking. They also provide a dose of nicotine without the use of tobacco. These devices are battery operated and look like a cigarette. They are available in different sizes containing a liquid which is heated up to form a vapour. This liquid contains nicotine, flavour, and some chemicals. It is a safe option for nicotine addiction and helps people who wish to quit smoking.


Varenicline (Champix)

This doubles your chances of success in quitting smoking. Varenicline is a medicine which causes a similar effect of nicotine on your body. It reduces the urge of smoking and relieves the withdrawal symptoms. It interferes with the receptors in the brain that nicotine stimulates.


To use NRT:


  • Consult a GP
  • Decide a quit date
  • Start the course one week before the quit date
  • Usual dose is 1 tablet (0.5 mg) daily for the first 3 days (or as prescribed by the doctor)
  • Then 1 tablet (0.5 mg) twice daily for days 4-7
  • After one week, 1 tablet (1 mg) twice daily for 11 weeks
  • Complete course duration is - 12 weeks


Bupropion (Zyban)

This is another very effective medicine for someone who wishes to quit smoking. It reduces the withdrawal symptoms. Studies show you are twice as likely to quit for good using this method of treatment. It is actually still quite unclear as to how Zyban works, but researchers have discovered that it blocks some chemicals in your brain which are known to react with nicotine when smoked and are made to feel good. This reduces cravings effectively.


To use Zyban:


  • Consult a GP (as this medicine can be obtained only by prescription)
  • Start the course by taking 1 tablet (150 mg) daily for 6 days (or as prescribed by the doctor)
  • Then increase the dose to 1 tablet (150 mg) twice a day (morning and evening)
  • After a week’s course set a quit date
  • Continue the medicine for about 7 weeks more



If you are looking for some expert help, book an ONLINE consultation with our GMC Registered Clinicians at alldayDr.com.


Patient discretion and confidentiality top the priority list at alldayDr.com!

Questions & Answers

I have smoked for a very long time, what’s the point quitting now the damage is done?

Even if you have smoked all your life, there are always positive benefits to be gained from quitting. The rewards from quitting will begin as soon as you have your last cigarette, and the longer you go without smoking, the more benefits you’ll experience. Your health, your self-esteem, and your everyday life will improve dramatically both short-term and long-term. There is no age when you should give up trying to quit; any age is the right age to quit.


I previously tried to quit but didn’t succeed. What can I do?

On average, it’ll take a person at least 2 or 3 serious attempts before they successfully quit. If you have previously tried and failed, you should recollect past attempt(s) and think about what went right and what went wrong. Reuse any successful strategies and dump anything that held you back.


How do I handle cravings?

Sudden cravings tend to only last a few minutes at a time. When they occur, visualise why it is you want to quit and why it’s crucial that you succeed this time around. Exercise is one of the best methods of keeping your mind busy. Utilising these methods alongside taking medicine be very effective in beating cravings.


I enjoy smoking when I drink. Will I have to give up both to successfully quit?

If this is the case, it would be strongly advised that you refrain from drinking alcohol for at least the first 3 months after stopping smoking. Failure to do so will lower your chances at quitting successfully.



If you are looking for some expert help, book an ONLINE consultation with our GMC Registered Clinicians at alldayDr.com.


Patient discretion and confidentiality top the priority list at alldayDr.com!

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