Stop Smoking

According to studies 66% of smokers want to quit but aren't sure about the best way to go about it. There are lots of different techniques and treatments on offer and by using the support that's right for you, you will be boosting your chance of quitting.

Quitting smoking takes time, effort and most importantly willpower. PharmaDocs can provide proven prescription only treatments to help you quit smoking.

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Why is smoking bad for you?

Giving up smoking is one of the best life changing decisions you can make. There are endless benefits to your health when you stop smoking. The benefits of being smoke free can be felt in as little as 20minutes, that’s correct, it takes approximately 20minutes for your pulse to return back to a normal heart rate.
The benefits of giving up smoking are mostly for you (and you family’s) long-term health. Passive smoking is linked to a higher risk of meningitis, some cancers, bronchitis and pneumonia.

How long does it take to recover from smoking?

Your body starts experiencing the health benefits almost as soon as you stop smoking.
Find out below how quickly you will notice the benefits of quitting:
After 20 minutes: Your pulse rate returns to normal.
After 8 hours: The level of nicotine and carbon monoxide in your blood reduce by more than half and the level of oxygen return to normal.
After 48 hours: Lungs start to clear out mucus and other smoking debris and carbon monoxide will be eliminated from the body. Also there will be no nicotine left in the body and you will experience improved sensations of taste and smell.
After 72 hours: Breathing becomes easier, you will have increased energy levels and your bronchial tube starts to relax.
After 2-12 weeks: Your blood circulation improves.
After 3-9 months: Improvement of any underlying coughs, wheezing and breathing problems as your lung function improves by up to 10%.
After 1 year: Risk of heart disease is about half compared to someone who is still smoking.
After 10 years: Risk of lung cancer is about half compared to someone who is still smoking.
After 15 years: Risk of heart attack falls same level as someone who has never smoked.

What health effects does smoking have?

There are so many adverse effects of smoking and the symptoms affect your entire body. Some of the symptoms are:
• Shortness of breath
• Chest pain
• Hoarseness
• Persistent coughing
• Bad breath
• stained teeth
• Affects taste bud and sense of smell
• Causes premature wrinkles It's likely you may experience some withdrawal symptoms within first 8 weeks of quitting, but that can be eased with the correct support. You will also experience strong cravings. It is important to keep in mind that all the withdrawal symptoms are temporary and will eventually pass.
Withdrawal symptoms include:
• Headaches
• Mood swings
• Stress
• Irritability
• Boredom
• Fatigue
• Weight gain What is the effect of nicotine on the body?
Most commonly known chemical in a cigarette is nicotine, nicotine acts on neuroreceptors and via several pathways causes addiction.

What are the benefits of quitting smoking?

As more than 80% of second-hand smoke is colourless and odourless it can affect the smoker as well as those around them.
• Smoking causes premature wrinkles (stopping smoking keeps you looking younger)
• Quitting smoking can reverse the damaging effects on your skin and help achieve an enhanced complexion
• It helps prevent stained teeth and bad breath
• Improves sense of smell and taste
• Improves cardiovascular health and breathing
• It increases you sex drive
• Quitting smoking reduces your overall stress
• Your fertility levels improve along with chances of a healthy pregnancy
A household that is smoke free can improve the overall family heath:
• It reduces the chances of your children suffering from bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma attacks, meningitis and ear infections
• Children who live with smokers are twice as likely to smoke themselves
• It improves the quality of air around you and creates a pleasant environment in the household Please note, it is against the law to smoke in a vehicle with anyone under the age of 18.
Apart from the benefits already mentioned above, stopping smoking saves you a considerable amount of money. According to current average prices, somebody who smokes 20 cigarettes per day is splashing out on an estimated £3500 per year!

How do I stop smoking?

The traditional way to quit smoking was to rely on immense willpower, unsurprisingly this was having mixed results. There are now various treatment options including Prescription only medications and those available over the counter (OTC).
Prescription treatment:
Prescription medication has been proven to be more effective method with a 50% success compared to other nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). Currently we offer Champix which is easy to use, with a 12 weeks course of treatment. Some users may opt for further 12 weeks to make sure all nicotine cravings have completely eliminated. Users who opt for further 12 weeks extended course have an additional 20% higher chance (overall 70%) of Quitting. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)
NRT is the most common method of treatment which is available over the counter and comes in the form of gums, pills, sprays and patches. Even though they are easily accessible the success rate is much lower than the prescription only treatment. Only 17% success rate with a very high relapse rate as opposed to 70% success rate with prescription only treatment. Chances of relapse depends entirely on an individuals mindset, therefore it is very important to stay motivated. Taking certain steps before quitting, that can also help you include:
• Setting a quit date
• Track your progress
• making lifestyle changes e.g. doing physical exercises, avoid places where it encourages smoking etc. E-cigarettes is also another aid which could be used to replace smoking. As it is a fairly new invention the effect of e-cigarettes yet to be thoroughly monitored. More information about E-cigarettes can be found on NHS stop smoking services.
There are also free apps which can be used as a stop smoking tools. Going cold turkey is another option you could use to stop smoking which can happen in rare cases. Whilst it's possible to give up on the spot but realistically majority of the smokers stand a better chance of quitting with additional help. It is imperative to be in the right frame of mind to quit where strong commitment and dedication is essential. Stoptober
The NHS launches its Stoptober campaign in partnership with Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation. Even though it is focused in the month of October, it can be applied any time of the year. Success of Stoptober are promising as around 250,000 people attempt to quit during this period and numbers are rising! According to research, those who quit smoking for a whole month are five times more likely to quit successfully. You can find more information from the NHS smoke free website and how to receive your smoke free kit.
Tips to help you stop
• Use a dummy inhalator if you have a hand to mouth habit
• Monitor your diet, if you get an urge to binge eat replace snacks with fruits and vegetables.
• Identifying your trigger points e.g. stress, anxiety or when drinking alcohol
• Get support from a professional, friends & family as little bit of motivation goes a long way. How long does it take to stop? It is easier to quit with appropriate help and support. One should approach this with a realistic timeframe and understand it may take many months. The treatment cycle for Champix is 12 weeks, sometimes an additional cycle of 12 weeks is necessary to completely stop.

What treatments are available?

AccessDoctor can offer Champix, available in various pack sizes, it is clinically proven to help many smokers quit the habit following the 12 weeks course. A repeat prescription for a further 12 weeks of extended course is also available if required. You can find more information on our Champix treatment page.