Quitting Smoking

Did you know... smoking increases your chance of dying from a heart attack or cancer? Quitting smoking has immediate health benefits. Read on to learn more about how to quit.

Reasons to quit

It can be challenging, but with the right plan in place you can be a non-smoker. Consider the many benefits of quitting smoking:
  • You may live longer and healthier
  • Your family and friends won’t be exposed to second-hand smoke
  • You save money. A pack-a-day smoker can spend up to $3,000 per year
  • You avoid smelling like smoke, staining your teeth and getting early skin wrinkles
  • You feel better and have more energy
 

Are you ready to quit?

Being ready and prepared to quit is important to your success. Here are some questions you should ask yourself:
  • Are you just thinking about quitting or are you ready now?
  • Have you talked to your doctor about quitting?
  • Have you talked to your family and friends about quitting?
 
Quitting smoking is not easy, but you can do it. A big step is to be honest with yourself.
 
When you are ready to quit, it is time to make a plan because this will make quitting easier. The Pharmacist at Walmart can help you throughout the process, from deciding to quit to being a non-smoker.

 
 

What will work for you?

There are many plans, tools and people that can help you quit smoking; pick what works best for you.
  • Self-help books
  • Web-based programs
  • Individual or group counselling
  • Family and friends
  • Prescription or non-prescription medications for withdrawal symptoms
 
Taking medication(s) with supportive counselling has been shown to increase the chance of quitting. Remember: if one approach does not work for you, try another one.
 
You can increase your chance of quitting by planning ahead and getting support from family and friends. The more you try to quit, the more likely you will succeed.
 

Getting started

Get rid of all the things that you relate to smoking and avoid situations that remind you of smoking.
  • Remove lighters, ashtrays and matches
  • Avoid areas where you have smoked in the past

The following are some common non-prescription medications to help you quit (these medications may double your chances of quitting). Ask the Pharmacist at Walmart about a format that might work best with your lifestyle:

  • Nicotine gum
  • Nicotine lozenges
  • Nicotine patch
  • Nicotine inhaler
 

Health benefits timeline

You’ll see these benefits within:
 
8 hours
  • Carbon monoxide levels in body drop
  • Oxygen levels increase
 
48 hours
  • Decreased risk of heart attack
  • Improved sense of smell and taste
 
72 hours
  • Easier breathing
  • Increased lung capacity
 
2 weeks to 3 months
  • Blood circulation improved
  • Lung function increased by up to 30%
 
6 months
  • Coughing, stuffy nose, tiredness & shortness of breath improved
 
1 year
  • Risk of smoking-related heart attack is halved
 
10 years
  • Risk of death from lung cancer is halved
 
15 years
  • Risk of dying from a heart attack is the same as a person who never smoked

 
 

Withdrawal symptoms

You may have some withdrawal symptoms when you quit, such as:
  • Sleep problems
  • Appetite changes
  • Trouble concentrating
 
These symptoms usually clear after a few days or weeks and the craving for cigarettes will drop.

 
 

Tips to manage cravings

Learn how to manage stress. If smoking helped you relax, think of other ways to help you deal with stress, such as:
  • Relaxing music
  • Reading
  • Exercise
  • Cleaning your house

Find something to do with your hands and mouth. These ideas will keep your mind focused

  • Use toothpicks
  • Chew gum
  • Use a stress ball to roll around your hands
  • Play a game or write a message

Eat more fruits and veggies. Choose healthy snacks (like celery or carrots) to give your body good nutrients and vitamins, and help ease the cravings.

 

More tips

  • Avoid being around other smokers. It might be best to avoid being around smokers until you have quit for at least a few weeks or the cravings are gone
     
  • Remember, cravings often go away in just a couple of minutes. If you can just get through the first minute or two of a craving, it will soon be over
     
  • Use your medications to quit properly

 
 

Look for help

There has never been a better time to quit. People can’t smoke in most places and it’s expensive.
There are many resources to help you succeed, from online advice and telephone support to one-on-one consultation with the pharmacist. Here are some websites to help you quit:
www.quitnow.ca
www.smokershelpline.ca

Your best support is your family and friends. Make sure you tell them your plan.
Before you begin using any products for smoking cessation, prescription or over-the-counter, be sure to speak with a healthcare professional so they can help you pick the best product for you.

Important information

Nicotine in cigarettes is very addictive and the Pharmacist at Walmart can help you overcome this addiction and become a non-smoker. Just ask.

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.

Legal
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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