Do you smoke or chew tobacco? Are you thinking of quitting smoking?
If you are thinking of quitting smoking, congratulations you have taken the first step!
Quitting smoking can be the most important thing you can do for your health. As well, the decreased exposure to second hand smoke to your family members is a health benefit to them.
It is never too late to quit smoking, even if you have smoked for a long time.
Did you know that after quitting smoking:
-in 20 minutes, your blood pressure & heart rate drops towards a normal level
-in 8 hours, carbon monoxide levels drop to normal & oxygen is carried more efficiently
-in 2 days, your circulation & oxygen levels return to normal. Your chance of a heart attack decreases.
-in 1 week, your sense of taste & smell improves. Breath, hair, fingers & teeth are cleaner.
-in 2 weeks, your lung function begins to improve
-in 2 months, coughing, fatigue, respiratory infections & shortness of breath decrease
-in 1 year, your excess risk of coronary heart disease is ½ that of a smoker
-in 5 years, your stroke risk is reduced to that of a non-smoker
-in 15 years, your risk of heart disease is back to that of a non-smoker
It can be so hard to quit. Many ex-smokers have tried quitting several times before quitting for good. A cigarette contains over 4000 chemicals, some of which are known to cause cancer. When you smoke, your body becomes addicted to the nicotine. When you stop smoking, your body will have cravings or withdrawal symptoms to the nicotine. During the first few weeks of quitting, you may become anxious, irritable, have trouble sleeping, or may want to eat more. These symptoms last only a few weeks.
Smoking can become part of an everyday routine or habit, such as after a meal, coffee breaks or activity. These habits or routines can be a trigger to make you want to smoke again.
Some people have been successful to quit “cold turkey”. There are medications available to work in different ways to help manage nicotine withdrawal. Counseling can help your develop skills to break smoking habits. By using medications & counseling together, you can double or triple the chance that you will be smoke-free.
Start thinking how you plan to quit and why you want to quit. Think about the triggers that make you want to smoke. Come talk to one of the pharmacists at Cheetham’s Pharmacy to help you quit.