Smoking Cessation - My Aunt Beth was exposed to smoke at a very early age as her father smoked very heavily. She started experimenting with smoking at the young age of 10 and by the time she was 13 was smoking continuously. At the age of 48 she developed emphysema (a condition in which the air sacs of the lungs are damaged and enlarged, causing breathlessness). Still she could not quit smoking. Shortly after her diagnosis she was put on oxygen and finally forced to quit smoking. She died at 58 weighing 75 pounds.
This story can resonate loudly with so many people, yet it is not enough to get them to quit smoking. They get the “it won’t happen to me” syndrome.
You already know smoking is harmful to your body. Smoking is related to more than two dozen diseases and conditions and is the most prevalent cause of lung cancer in Canada. Even knowing the risks to our health, many people continue to smoke. Why is it so hard to quit smoking?
The physical addiction to Nicotine is tough to overcome. In fact, many resources show that nicotine is just as addictive as heroin or cocaine. It takes only 10 seconds for nicotine to reach the brain after being inhaled causing a feeling of temporary relaxation and stress relief. It can also increase your heart rate and elevate your mood. After your body rids itself of this drug, you start to crave another cigarette starting a viscous cycle of dependency.
There are many drugs on the market that can help overcome the physical addiction to nicotine. But if the physical addiction was the only thing to overcome, then you would think that drugs alone would help. Many people quit smoking using these medications, but then relapse and start smoking again. It is also very important to look at the mental dependency and behavioral habits that go along with the physical addiction. You may be concerned about weight gain, dealing with stress, loss of social relationships and pure loss of enjoyment of smoking a cigarette.
In order to launch your smoke-free life, you need to understand why you smoke and what happens when you stop. It is hard to face this challenge alone. We can help. Pharmacists have joined in the partnership to assist in the cessation of tobacco (P.A.C.T). P.A.C.T is a free program designed to lead people through a personalized process to increase their success. It’s designed to help smokers understand their mental dependency on smoking, not just their physical addiction to nicotine.
The average Canadian smoker tries to quit 3.4 times before succeeding, while one in five attempt four or more times before succeeding. Your pharmacist can help increase your success. Let this be the year you call yourself a non-smoker.