The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about a third of the world population is addicted to nicotine. Although over 45% of active smokers say they are willing to quit, the inability for a smoker to be able to get their “dose” brings about the abstinence syndrome, which many looking to stop smoking struggle with; and could lead to symptoms such as insomnia, irritability, impaired concentration, and increased appetite. The great news is that in recent years, there has been a significant increase in those winning their battle against the addiction. Even if not always successful at the first attempt, with time, willpower, and the use of aids, a smoker can kick the habit goodbye forever. Treatments have already been developed specially to help the fight against smoking and users can look to stop smoking within 12 weeks of use.
What is nicotine? And why is it so addictive?
Nicotine is an alkaloid stimulant found in plants of tobacco. Despite being one of the least harmful to the body, it is considered the main substance responsible for determining dependency. Nicotine is capable of generating in the smoker a feeling of pleasure very similar to that triggered by drugs such as cocaine or heroin. The feeling of well being produced by cigarette smoke leads the smoker to seek the same feeling at a later time (reinforcing stimulus).
Dangers of smoking
More than 90% of smokers are aware of the consequences that it can cause. The problem is the dependency and psychological relief gained from it seem to cloud the health implications that could arise such as those on the respiratory system (asthma, bronchitis, cough, etc.) heart circulation (heart attack, stroke, hypertension, etc.), and even on the reproductive organs (impotence and infertility). Smoking not only poses risks to the smoker, but those around them also. Secondhand smoking can increase the risk of lung or heart disease by over 20%, and is especially more harmful for babies, and young children.
Benefits of Stopping Smoking
Overall smoking means the quality of health and living is compromised in the long term, luckily the body’s ability to repair certain cells means if you can quit, some of the damage can be reversed aiding towards a better quality of health. Other health benefits that can be experienced are:
- Improved blood flow and reproductive potency
- Better looking skin
- Less stained teeth and fresher breath
- Longer life expectancy
- Improved smell and taste
With smoking cessation treatment you can also prevent asthma and further respiratory problems from developing. Heavy breathing and difficulty performing basic physical activity may not pose an immediate threat to your long-term health but they may be the very start of more serious health concerns such as bronchitis and emphysema.
When should I quit smoking?
Doctors will always advise you to quit smoking as soon as possible to give your body a higher chance of repairing the damage caused by cigarettes. You can use smoking cessation treatment regardless of how long you have been addicted; giving up is achievable after weeks, months and even years.
How can I quit smoking?
Giving up smoking for good requires commitment from you, and the support and encouragement from your friends and family. It’s possible to quit smoking on the spot, although you’re more likely to avoid falling into a relapse if you cut down gradually using a smoking cessation aid. Speak to your doctor, agree to set a date when you wish to quit smoking and monitor your progress with a diary or journal. You can also contact our medical team if you’d like more advice.
The opportunity to stop smoking is certainly both attainable and realistic. Although a small number of people don’t require smoking aids to quite, the large majority of people stop smoking successfully with medication and behavioural support. All smokers over the age of 18 can use stop smoking treatment, with the most common form being nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).
Remember, giving up smoking is a long-term process that may take up to a year to accomplish. Smoking cessation treatments are available to help reduce the duration of treatment to just 12 weeks. If this is the first time you are attempting to quit smoking, you may wish to explore all the available solutions, maybe combining different forms of treatment to best avoid nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Buying smoking cessation treatment online
A stop treatment can be ordered online and dispatched to your address the very next day to help you quit smoking as soon as possible. If you are a particularly heavy smoker you may require longer treatment, which can be administered as part of a 24 week course. Patients can receive the medication by successfully completing an online consultation with our doctor, which is strictly confidential and takes just a few minutes to fill in.