You probably know that smoking is bad for your health, but quitting can be one of the most difficult things to do and it is certainly not easy to do it by yourself. This article will discuss why quitting is so important for your health and some strategies for how to do it.
Why Should I Quit Smoking?
The link between smoking and lung cancer is well-known, but smoking is also linked with many other cancers, including throat and mouth cancers, bladder and kidney cancer, digestive tract cancers, cervical cancer and blood cancers. In addition, smoking is linked to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, a severely debilitating lung disease and can clog your arteries, leading to heart attacks and strokes. All in all, smoking causes more deaths than murder, illicit drugs, motor vehicle accidents and alcohol combined. Smoking can also cause other unpleasant side-effects, such as sexual dysfunction and reduced fertility.
Consider all the benefits to quitting, including the health benefits as well as the money you’d save and the ability to be there for your family more.
Strategies to Quit
Deciding to quit is great, but it can be incredibly challenging. Committing to quitting through methods such as setting a quit date or getting a quit buddy (a friend who quits smoking with you) can be especially helpful.
Your GP can also be an excellent support for you to help give you all the information you need to quit smoking and strategies to help you on your journey.
While light smokers may be able to quit ‘cold turkey’ (stopping smoking immediately with no nicotine replacement), those who smoke heavier or for longer may need to use nicotine replacement such as gum, lozenges and patches which can help relieve cravings.
For those who are really struggling with craving and withdrawal symptoms, talk to your doctor about medications to help you. Bupropion (Zyban) and varenicline (Champix) are two medications which can help you overcome the withdrawal symptoms.
Quitline also has some fantastic resources to help you on your quitting journey, including their website (www.quitnow.gov.au), a mobile app and a phone support line (13 78 48)
Remember, quitting smoking can be incredibly difficult and you should not feel disheartened if it takes many attempts to successfully quit!
If you are interested in learning more about this topic, feel free to book an appointment with one of our friendly doctors by booking online or contacting us by phone on 8269 6000.
Cancer Council Australia. 2018. Quit smoking – Cancer Council Australia. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.cancer.org.au/preventing-cancer/reduce-your-risk/quit-smoking.html. [Accessed 01 April 2018].
Quitline 2018. quitnow – Damaging your body . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.quitnow.gov.au/internet/quitnow/publishing.nsf/Content/damaging-your-body. [Accessed 01 April 2018].
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