World No Tobacco Day takes place on the 31st of May each year.
Although the general focus of World No Tobacco Day
is for people to set this as the day to quit, we at Community Pharmacy recognise that it isn't always quite that
simple. Quitting can take time & perhaps that day isn't the one for you, but it can still be a turning point in
your decision to quit smoking. Perhaps it is the last day you buy a packet of cigarettes. The day you cut down
from 30 to 20 cigarettes a day or just the day that you use to pin point that you will stop smoking. However you
choose to use it, it is all a forwards step on your Quit Smoking path!
Benefits for all ages
There are so many benefits to quitting smoking & it is never too late to stop.
Best of all - quitting at any age doesn't just increase life expectancy - it also improves quality of life!
Are you under 35?
If you quit before age 35, then your life expectancy is similar to someone who has never smoked.
Are you under 50?
If you quit before age 50, then your risk of dying in the next 15 years is reduced
by half when compared to people who continue to smoke.
Stop-smoking tips #
Here are some simple suggestions to help make quitting smoking just a little bit easier:
Work out why: Make a list of all the reasons you want to quit and stick them to the fridge,
above your desk at work, or by your bed anywhere that you'll see them often and get the encouragement you need to stay focused.
Set your goal: What is your ultimate goal? It might be something financial (save $100 a week by not smoking) or something more
lifestyle related (run a half-marathon). Whatever you choose, decide on a solid goal and, again, place it somewhere where you'll
see it every day.
Plan ahead: Set a date when you are going to quit and stick to it. Give yourself time to prepare.
Avoid temptation: If you know certain places, people or activities are likely to trigger a craving then avoid them,
at least for the first few weeks of your quitting journey. Why make things more difficult for yourself?
Get Support: Ask friends and family to support your goal and perhaps ask a good friend to quit with you.
Come in to your local Pharmacy for extra support.
Fill the bin: Search your house for anything related to cigarettes ashtrays, lighters and matches and throw them away.
If you don't trust yourself or feel tempted to hide an emergency cigarette somewhere, ask a friend to come and help you.
Clean up: Give your house a spring clean and your clothes a wash often the smell of smoke can trigger a craving, so make sure
everything smells fresh and clean.
Keep busy: Smoking used to take up a lot of your time, so find something new to fill it. At work, instead of nipping out for a cigarette,
take a walk around the block. Early evening can be the most difficult time, so you could decide to take up a new hobby like footy, yoga, cooking
or something else that keeps your hands busy. Remember, the craving will only last a few minutes, so don't give in.
Be careful about what you drink: Remember alcohol and coffee can be strong triggers for smoking. Try to avoid alcohol if it weakens your
willpower, and limit tea and coffee to a few cups a day. Instead, opt for decaffeinated coffee, water or fruit juice.
Be aware: Keep a journal of your experiences; record the highs and lows as well as any health benefits you start to feel. When you're
feeling tempted, look back on what you've written; it can really help.
Plan rewards: Plan out a series of rewards at various milestones in your stop-smoking journey. They don't have to be big; a simple
trip to the movies or a massage can make you feel more positive.
Don't be too hard on yourself: If you do slip, don't beat yourself up about it. Giving up smoking isn't easy and the occasional
failure is inevitable. Just pick yourself up and start again; tomorrow is a new day!
Stash your cash: Save all the money you would usually spend on smoking and plan to use it for something you really want.
Get help with cravings: Consider using Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) to help you control your cravings while you quit smoking.
There are a number of different options available at Community Pharmacy for those who wish to Quit smoking. Some may require a prescription
from your Doctor, but many can be recommended and purchased simply by dropping into the Pharmacy. Why don't you take the first step & come
in to discuss your options with one of our Pharmacists?