Smoking is a serious addiction that is thought to kill over 8 million people each year through smoking-related conditions and terminal illnesses.3 Given that people choose to smoke, the deaths associated with smoking make it one of the highest preventable causes of death in the world.
Tobacco is used to make cigarettes and has been directly linked to over 25 different diseases and health problems. Nicotine is one of 7,000 toxic chemicals in each cigarette, 250 of those are known to be harmful, almost 70 are cancer-causing4. Smoking is also highly addictive, making it even more difficult to kick the habit and quit smoking.
Often when faced with evidence of the health implications of smoking, you may question why you ever started smoking and acknowledge that you need to stop. However, smoking is an addiction and many people struggle with breaking the habit and giving up their reliance upon Nicotine.
We can offer Champix on prescription, which is well known to be the most successful quit smoking medication available.1
What are the immediate health risks?
It is well understood that smoking is responsible for many serious health problems and long term, terminal illnesses. The most common of these conditions include:
- Cancer of the lungs, throat, mouth, liver, bladder, kidney, stomach and the cervix in women
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Stroke and heart disease
- Stomach ulcers and acid reflux
- Impotence in men
- High blood pressure
- Kidney failure
The benefits of quitting smoking5
Regardless of how long you have been smoking, you can still benefit from quitting and not doing any further damage to your health.
Within just 20 minutes of stopping smoking, you will see improvements to your health, quality of life and your pulse rate will return to normal. By 72 hours, carbon monoxide levels will be eliminated from your body and oxygen levels will have increased. Your lungs will start to clear out smoking debris and mucus making breathing easier, all nicotine will be eliminated from your body and your taste and smell even improve.
What help is available to quit smoking?
The best time to stop smoking is now because you will prevent any further damage to your health and immediately start to feel the benefits of a smoke-free lifestyle. However, overcoming nicotine cravings is one of the main challenges you will face. As with weight loss, or any other lifestyle change, you should pick the right time and not attempt to make too many changes to your life at once, particularly if this could threaten the success of your goals.
The immediate nicotine cravings will be a test of your will power and the extent of your dependency on nicotine. Various smoking cessation aids are available to help you achieve your goal.
Nicotine replacement therapy works by supplying your body with a small dose of nicotine to reduce the withdrawal symptoms. Typically, this is supplied as a patch, gum, spray, an inhaler or as a tablet. The NHS offers a “Quit Kit” to guide you step-by-step through the quit smoking process. The pack may help you kick the habit permanently, giving you information on quitting smoking, dealing with nicotine cravings, and weight gain, a common side effect of quitting smoking.
Prescription only medication to help with stopping smoking
You may find the process of giving up smoking difficult, particularly if you have tried and failed before. In addition to the nicotine cravings, your day-to-day life will be a key factor in the success of giving up. In some circumstances, you may require additional support to aid the withdrawal process.
Prescription medication can be used to ease the cravings for cigarettes by reducing the pleasure gained when smoking, and by influencing the receptors in the brain that create the cravings. You may even double or quadruple your chance of quitting with the use of prescription medication, compared with will power alone.
Champix is a prescription-only medication that works to stimulate the nicotine receptors in the brain. It relieves cravings and suppresses the withdrawal symptoms. If you start smoking again while taking Champix, it will suppress the effects on the nicotine.