In Québec, approximately 1.5 million people are addicted to nicotine1. Of these, 60% want to quit smoking and 20% of them succeed with pharmacological support and encouragement from those around them.
This support is required to give up smoking definitively, but for it to work, smokers must first understand their true intentions behind quitting. This article, written by Familiprix in collaboration with Nicorette and Vie de Parents, will help you in your efforts. You’ll discover some simple, useful tips.
The pros and cons
Many smokers fear quitting because of the side effects it can cause. For this reason, it’s necessary to draw up a list of the pros and cons of smoking2 in order to see the compelling reasons to embark on the challenge of a lifetime.
What does smoking really give you? Some people would say that it gives them an allure, a certain style. Others say it relaxes them or increases their sharpness. Smoking can be a way of enjoying a moment to yourself or can help with weight control.
On the flipside, smoking costs money, and deteriorates the appearance of your skin, hair and teeth. Many people lose their senses of smell and taste, and therefore their appetites. Smoking causes snoring and the risk of sleep apnea. Above all, smoking is bad for your health. Almost 13,000 people die of tobacco-related diseases each year3. Not to mention that tobacco smoke also has harmful effects in non-smokers, including certain cancers, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, and effects on fetal development.
Freeing yourself from cigarettes means having the health, energy and money to do a ton of activities. One year after quitting their last cigarette, a smoker's risk of cardiovascular disease will be halved4. After five years, the risk is the same as that of a person who has never smoked.
Once the list of pros and cons of tobacco use has been written down, be sure to display it prominently in your living space. This visual reminder will be very helpful when you feel a craving for a cigarette. Read it again and remain steadfast. There’ll be a lot more positive for you down the road if you persevere.
Encouragement and support
One thing all the experts agree on is that the help and support of your family, friends and co-workers is essential to the success of your challenge.
If you have concerns, are under stress or if you experience an irrepressible urge to smoke, it is essential to have loved ones to talk to who will listen to you and help take your mind off of it. Building up a network of people to interact with at different times is a great asset. There may be some good advice from people who have already overcome this challenge and others who are up for outings or physical activities, as well as some people who are good at checking in and chatting. Don't hesitate to ask them to distract you to resist the temptation of a cigarette. All encouragement is good, so take advantage of it!
Likewise, if your network is comprised of smokers, be firm about your intentions to quit smoking and ask them not to use tobacco in your presence so that you have the best possible chance of not succumbing.
And remember, no one is perfect. If you do relapse, don't be too hard on yourself. Instead, look for support and words of encouragement to motivate yourself to repeat the challenge!
Studies by the Institut National de la Santé publique du Québec have found that smokers who opt for pharmacological aid are twice as successful at stamping out their last cigarette5. In fact, the winning combination is psychological support and using a clinically-proven product that controls cravings.
Among the pharmacological treatments are NICORETTE® nicotine products that are available in different forms as treatment support. Using the patch decreases withdrawal symptoms by releasing a nicotine replacement slowly and steadily, while doses of nicotine in gum, inhaler or lozenge versions are used to curb sudden cravings that are more difficult to manage.
One of the ways to increase your chances of success is to use the Nicorette® QuickMist® SmartTrack™ pharmacological treatment with the Nicorette® MyQuit application to reduce your tobacco cravings and to help and motivate you. Just spray the nicotine product directly into your mouth when you feel like having a smoke, then place the spray near your phone. This will help you to monitor your daily nicotine consumption and your number of tobacco-free days. A great way to set goals and get tips on quitting smoking are also available through the app. As a bonus, you can see the savings you’ve made by not smoking!
To recap, the three things that will help you overcome your challenge are using a visual reminder to motivate you (your list of the pros and cons of smoking), taking advantage of your psychological support network, and getting help from pharmacological treatments. Your body will thank you!
Don’t hesitate to consult your Familiprix pharmacist-owner or other health professionals to help you choose the pharmacological products that are right for you and learn how to use them properly.
This article was paid for by Johnson & Johnson
(All in french)
Sources (All in french)