Is Quitting Smoking Your New Year's Resolution?

Deciding to stop smoking is one of the most common, potentially beneficial and consistently challenging resolutions. If you’re planning to start off this new year tobacco-free, set yourself up for success by creating a plan, learn what it takes to quit and know what to expect from the process.

Here are ways to help you resist the urge to smoke when a tobacco craving strikes.

1. Avoid triggers

Identify your trigger situations and have a plan in place to avoid them entirely or get through them without using tobacco.

2. Delay

If you feel like you’re going to give in to your tobacco craving, tell yourself that you must first wait 10 more minutes — and then do something to distract yourself for that period of time.

3. Chew on it

Give your mouth something to do to fight a tobacco craving. Chew on sugarless gum, candy or nuts – something crunchy and satisfying.

4. Get physical

Physical activity can help distract you from tobacco cravings.. Even a short burst of physical activity — such as running up and down the stairs — can make a tobacco craving go away or get out for a walk or jog.

5. Practice relaxation techniques

Smoking may have been your way to deal with stress. Take the edge off stress by practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep-breathing exercises, yoga, massage or listening to calming music.

6. Call for reinforcements

Touch base with a family member, friend or support group member for help in your effort to resist a tobacco craving.

7. Remind yourself of the benefit

Remind yourself the reasons you want to stop smoking and resist tobacco cravings – feeling better, healthier, saving money etc

8. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)

The evidence that NRT helps to stop smoking is well accepted, and many clinical guidelines recommend NRT as a first line treatment for people seeking pharmacological help to stop smoking. It is available via clinics or pharmacies. 

What Does NRT Do?

NRT works by providing low doses of nicotine; without the other harmful chemicals present in tobacco smoke, to the brain in order to replace the nicotine from cigarette smoke. This approach aims to reduce the craving for nicotine and ease or prevent the withdrawal symptoms associated with stopping smoking.

The Types of NRT Available

Nicotine replacement products come in several forms and strengths to accommodate the different needs of the smokers. Below are the common types of nicotine products available in the market:

  • Nicotine gum
  • Nicotine patch

NRTs are in general well tolerated and have minimal adverse effects.

The choice of NRT product is guided by your preference. Current evidence suggests that, all of the commercially available forms of NRT increase their chances of successfully stopping smoking. NRTs increase the rate of quitting by 50 to 70%.

How Can CARiNG Pharmacy Help?

You can get free advice from our certified smoking cessation pharmacist. Additionally, our pharmacist will be able to help you select and dispense the NRTs according to your need and preference.  Once you have decided to quit smoking, a frequent follow-up session will be provided to you by our pharmacists. Sessions for follow-up can be arranged according to your availability.

 

References

  1. Clinical practice guideline, treatment of tobacco use disorder. Ministry of Health 2016. (Web accessed December 2021). Web link: www.moh.gov.my/index.php/pages/view/135?mid=67
  2. Tobacco. World Health Organization. 2019.(Web accessed December 2021). Web link: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/tobacco