Ask your Pharmacist
Help to give up smoking
Eamonn Brady is a pharmacist and the owner of Whelehans Pharmacy, Pearse St and Clonmore Mullingar. If you have any health questions e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org
This continues from last week’s article in the Westmeath Examiner in which I discussed reasons to give up smoking. Weight gain is a concern for many when giving up. However, the average weight gain is only about 5lbs and you can lose this gradually once you have succeeded in stopping smoking.
Three steps to giving up
The three steps to giving up smoking are 1. Preparing to stop 2. Stopping 3. Staying stopped. It can take up to three months to become a non-smoker, but it usually takes less time. The physical craving for a cigarette often disappears in less than a week, but the psychological craving can last longer.
Step 1 - Preparing to stop
It is important that you stop smoking because you want to. Think of the many benefits that you will gain by stopping smoking (see last week’s article). Do not expect giving up smoking to be easy, but remember that the first 3-4 days will be the most difficult. If you can, give up with a friend, or family member, who also wants to quit.
Here are a few tips to help you give up: Set a specific date to give up and cut down on the number of cigarettes that you smoke before that date. Get the support of your family and friends to help you give up. Set yourself a reward for the end of your first day, first week, first month. Get rid of everything smoking related, such as cigarettes, ashtrays, and lighters, on the day before you give up.
Step 2 - Stopping
Your initial goal is to get through the first day without smoking. If you need to put something in your mouth, chew sugar-free gum, or something else that is healthy and non-fattening, such as fruit. If you need to do something with your hands, find something to fiddle with, such as a pencil, a coin, or a stress relief ball.
Step 3 - Staying stopped
Take it one day at a time. Think positively, remain determined, and reward yourself. At the beginning, it may help to change your normal routine, to avoid situations that you would normally associate with smoking. Avoiding alcohol for a while may also help. Most importantly, do not give up trying to quit, even if you fail the first time. Most people need several attempts at quitting long-term before they stop smoking completely.
Your pharmacist can give you great advice and support and has many options over the counter to help you give up. Ask our pharmacist in Whelehans Pearse st or Clonmroe for more details.
To be continued next week…. I will discuss treatment options to help you give up smoking.
For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans, log on to www.whelehans.ie or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore). Find us on Facebook.
This article is shortened to fit within Newspaper space limits. More detailed information and leaflets is available in Whelehans