Stop Smoking in Stopoctober!

Stop Smoking


Stop Smoking
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Although the number of smokers has been steadily decreasing since 1974, there are still around 6.9 million adult smokers in the UK. And, according to the ASH website, this habit costs the NHS around 2.5 billion each year dealing with conditions related to smoking.

What illnesses does smoking cause?

Smoking can cause more than 50 serious health conditions and the most common are:

  • Lung cancer
  • Mouth and throat cancer
  • Oesophagus cancer
  • Bladder and bowel cancer

But smoking doesn’t just raise your risk of getting cancer. You can also damage your heart and you may end up having:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • A heart attack
  • A Stroke

You can also damage your blood vessels and the arteries that supply blood to your brain.

Damage to your lungs means you could end up with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) Pneumonia, bronchitis, and emphysema.

Passive smoke can also cause conditions such as asthma or someone close to you could end up with meningitis or a cough.

Why is it so hard to stop smoking?

The nicotine in cigarettes is addictive, so many people find it hard to stop once they start smoking. It is said that Nicotine is as addictive as class-A drugs like cocaine and heroin.

When you smoke nicotine levels rise you get a feeling of well-being. Once nicotine levels fall smokers can feel anxious until they light up another cigarette and this is how physical dependence occurs.

Stopping is hard because your body will crave the nicotine and you may experience withdrawal symptoms.

What’s the best way to stop?

There are several smoking aids you can use, and these are easily obtained from us here at the pharmacy or on prescription. Smoking aids include:

  • Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)
  • Prescription medication
  • Vapes

Nicotine Replacement Therapy

Nicotine replacements give you the nicotine your body craves but without the harmful tar or carbon monoxide that cigarettes contain.

Your pharmacy will have a range of NRT remedies such as:

  • Skin patches you wear on your upper body in a place like your upper arm, your back or your chest. The patches slowly release the nicotine throughout the day.
  • Chewing gum – When you feel the need for a cigarette you can chew some gum instead. You can reduce the strength of the nicotine as you get used to not smoking and your cravings diminish.
  • Nicotine Inhaler – This looks like a cigarette, but it’s made of plastic. You hold it like a cigarette, so it may help people who want the hand-to-mouth replication of a real cigarette.
  • Lozenges – You can suck lozenges. These are ideal if you smoked less than 20 a day. You can also buy dissolvable strips and microtabs.
  • Mouth and Nose sprays – Sprays containing small amounts of nicotine which you can spray into your nose or mouth.

If you want to know more about any of these products speak to us here at the pharmacy where we can advise you on the best remedy for your needs.

Prescription Medication

Your doctor may prescribe you Bupropion which is sold under the brand name Zyban. It is thought to help with cravings and anxiety. The treatment usually lasts between 7 and 9 weeks.


Vapes don’t contain tar or carbon monoxide so they are often used to help smokers quit. You will need to buy a vape and the nicotine to put in it. You can choose the strength of the nicotine.

The NHS also have a free app you can download on Android or at the App Store. It will let you track your progress and tell you how much money you’re saving. You can find out more about it on the NHS quit-smoking website.

What happens to my body when I give up smoking?

Changes to your body happen quite quickly once you stop. After 20 minutes, for example, your pulse rate will start to return to a normal rate.

After 2 days you may notice your sense of smell and taste begin to improve. The carbon monoxide in your blood starts to reduce. Within 8 hours it will have halved.

During the months that follow you’ll find breathing easier, you may have more energy and your lung function and circulation should improve. After one year you will have reduced your risk of a heart attack by 50% and after ten years your risk of lung cancer will have halved too.

Don’t forget we’re here to help, so if you want advice about remedies to stop smoking come in for a chat.

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