Quitting smoking: are you ready?

Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do to improve your life and health. It’s also one of the hardest habits to break. Fortunately, there are many proven ways to quit. Ready to learn them? Read on!

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Are you sure you’re ready to quit?

Let’s say that you’re worried about your chances because you’ve tried to quit smoking in the past and failed. You’re not alone. Setbacks are part of quitting. Deciding to quit, taking the first step towards quitting and continuing to try are all things you should be proud of.
If you’re still not ready to quit, don’t give up on the idea of quitting. Instead, mentally prepare yourself by keeping track of things such as how much you smoke, and how much you enjoyed each cigarette. Review your notes in a couple of weeks and see what you’d be willing to give up.

Remember, quitting is not one big challenge - it’s a series of small ones. The Pharmacist at Walmart is always there to help you, whenever you’re ready to quit.


Are you buying into these smoking myths?

Myth: Eating healthy and exercising lowers the health risks of smoking.
Fact: Smoking damages every organ of the body from your lungs to your heart. You could eat a ton of broccoli, and still not undo the deadly effects of tobacco.
Myth: Smoking “light” cigarettes is better.
Fact: Most people who smoke the lighter version get the same amount of toxic chemicals because they inhale more deeply than when smoking regular cigarettes.
Myth: I’m only hurting myself by smoking.
Fact: Second-hand smoke harms the people around you. It can even cause lung cancer in non-smokers like family members and friends.

Know your reasons and set a quit date

Everyone has their reasons for quitting. But quitting because "smoking’s bad for you" isn’t motivating enough. You need a powerful, personal reason to quit - whether it’s for health reasons or that you’re sick and tired of wearing smoky clothes. After you’ve considered your reasons:
  • Write down why you want to quit smoking.
  • List your concerns about quitting. Next to each concern, write down things you can do to overcome it.
  • Pick a quit date and sign it like a contract with yourself. Tell your friends and family about it so you can’t change your mind.

The do’s and don’ts of quitting smoking

Don’t go cold turkey. About 95% of people who try to stop smoking cold turkey, start again.  

Don’t start dieting at the same time. Like many people, you may gain weight after quitting. But fighting hunger and smoking cravings is bound to backfire. Instead, focus on eating nutritious, low fat foods. Getting regular exercise can also help ease cravings and burn calories.

Do join a support group. Research shows that a quitting smoking program, along with nicotine replacement therapy like the patch, increases your chances of quitting successfully. Behavioural therapy is one type of counselling that has helped many. Just sharing ideas with others who are quitting can help, too.


Coping with those dreaded withdrawal symptoms

Nicotine is a powerfully addictive drug that can give you short bursts of energy. After you quit, you will crave nicotine. Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal are:
  • Feeling restless, irritable, sad or angry
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Constipation
Usually these withdrawal symptoms appear within 1 or 2 days, peak in the first week, and last about 2-4 weeks. The first 4 weeks are the toughest, and after that many of the withdrawal symptoms should end. Learn to recognize them and resist those thoughts about “having just one cigarette.” Remember that your struggle is temporary, but the benefits of quitting will be with you your whole life.

Conquer cravings with nicotine replacement therapy

Research shows that using nicotine-replacement products can help double your chances of quitting when combined with a behavioural program. These products include:

  • Patches
  • Gums
  • Mouth sprays
  • Inhalers
  • Lozenges
These products are generally safe when used correctly. However, some can cause side effects such as racing heartbeat if the dose of nicotine is too high. Always talk to your doctor or the Pharmacist at Walmart if you have any side effects.
The Pharmacist at Walmart can help you choose a nicotine replacement product that’s right for you.


Coping with the stress of not lighting up

One reason people smoke is that nicotine helps them relax. So once you quit, you’ll need another ways to cope with stress - especially during the first few weeks when you’re going through withdrawal. Try avoiding making big changes during this time, such as looking for a new job. Ways to overcome stress include:

  • Find someone you can talk to and who can give you support.
  • Get regular massages.
  • Make some time each day to listen to soft music, read a good book, or take a walk.
  • Give yourself regular rewards to celebrate your accomplishments.
  • Maintain a healthy diet and keep active.

The benefits of quitting smoking never quit!

Once you’ve quit for good, all sorts of good things start to happen in your body.

20 minutes after quitting
Your blood pressure drops to a level similar to what it was before your last cigarette

8 hours after quitting
The level of carbon monoxide in your blood drops to normal.

24 hours after quitting
Your risk of having a heart attack stops to drop.

1 year after quitting
Your added risk of heart disease is half than that of a smoker’s.

5 years after quitting
You have the same chance of having a stroke as a non-smoker.

10 years after quitting
Your chance of dying from lung cancer is much lower.

15 years after quitting
Your risk of heart disease is similar to that of a non-smoker.


Important information

The Pharmacist at Walmart can help you on the road to becoming a non-smoker. Just ask!

Sponsored by

  • equatetm/mc Nicotine Gum
  • Teva Canada Limited
  • Olex Omeprazole 20 mg
  • Rhinaris® NASAL MIST

This information should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your doctor. There may be variations in treatment that your physician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances. If you have questions about your symptoms, ask the Pharmacist at Walmart for more information, and/or contact your doctor.


The pharmacist at Walmart does not endorse or recommend any sponsor or their products or services.
Any representation, performance claim, warranty or guarantee in any materials herein is the sole responsibility of the sponsor that has prepared such materials and is not independently verified by Walmart.

Olex is a trademark of Pharmascience Inc.
Pendopharm, Division of Pharmascience Inc.

Rhinaris is a registered trademark of Pharmascience Inc.
Pendopharm, Division of Pharmascience Inc.
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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