Quitting a life-long habit is never easy, and studies have shown that quitting smoking is one of the hardest things you can do. Nicotine is a drug which is physically and psychologically addictive – which is why it is so difficult to give up smoking. However, it is not the nicotine that causes smoking-related diseases, but the 4000 other chemicals found in cigarettes which are the real danger. The benefits of quitting smoking are so great that the struggle to quit is well worth it, not only for you but for your loved ones. No matter how young or how old you are, it is NEVER too late to give up cigarettes. Your skin will look better, your clothes will smell better, you will have more money in your pocket, and your body will begin to repair itself ALMOST IMMEDIATELY. And your risk of illness decreases significantly – meaning your chances of developing cancer of the mouth, throat, bladder, stomach, cervix, kidney, pancreas, lungs, and also leukemia hugely decrease when you give up smoking. Smoking also more than doubles your risk of developing heart disease & having a stroke, while increasing your risk of dying from a heart attack by 70%.

Thankfully, the range of products available to those with a desire to give up smoking has never been so plentiful. At Walsh’s we can advise customers on the most effective ways to cut down, to quit, and to stay off cigarettes. We supply the full range of smoking cessation products.

In recent years smoking cessation has become an increasingly important focus by health authorities. Research suggests that around 70% of smokers would like to give up, but only 2 -3% of smokers manage to quit using willpower alone. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is an effective aid to smoking cessation for those smoking more than 10 cigarettes a day.

Smokers are about twice as likely to stop long term smoking when taking NRT and are up to six times more likely to succeed when NRT and behavioural support are combined.

A vital feature of NRT treatment is the gradual reduction of the nicotine dose over several weeks. This ensures that nicotine intake is gradually tapered off so that there is no withdrawal symptoms.

Smoking Cessation Tips:

Set a quit date, prepare for it and stick to it.
Get support and advice from friends, family and health professionals
Consider NRT for the first few weeks.
Avoid situations where you will find it difficult not to smoke
Change your routine to distract yourself from times and places you associate with smoking
Stop completely rather than cutting down
Ask people around you not to smoke and tell everyone you are quitting
Keep busy especially when craving starts
Reward yourself for not smoking
Calculate how much money you will save and how you plan to spend it
A range of NRT products are available in all Walsh’s Pharmacies. NRT treatment can significantly increase the chance of success if used correctly
Formulation Options
These are discreet and easy to wear. They work by continuous release of nicotine which is suitable for regular smokers. Patches available include a 16-hour patch and a 24-hour patch. Both deliver continuous nicotine, but the 24-hour patch is designed for those who smoke during the night and first thing in the morning. Three strengths allow a step-down reduction programme. They can cause skin irritation if the skin is sensitive or if they are used in the same spot daily.

The Gum helps you to control the cravings when they occur. There are various flavours to choose from and various strengths which allow a step–down reduction programme. Chew the gum slowly to allow release of nicotine and then ‘park’ the gum between the cheek and gum.

Nasal Spray
This is fast acting which is helpful for highly dependent smokers. However some local side- effects may occur (sore throat and rhinitis) which usually passes after a few days.

Sublingual tablets
These are discrete. Place under the tongue and dissolve over 20 minutes. It is important to follow the instructions for use as sucking or chewing the tablets will reduce their effectiveness. One or two tablets can be used per hour.

These act as a cigarette substitute and are useful for smokers who miss the hand-to-mouth action. The idea is to reduce usage overtime. The recommended period of use is 12 weeks.

Various strengths are available which allow a step – down reduction programme. Those smokers who need nicotine on waking can start on the highest strength (4mg). Lozenges are sucked until the taste is quite strong and then the lozenge is then parked between the cheek and the gum.

Contact your Pharmacist or health care professional for further guidance or information.