Ways to Quit

Whether you quit smoking using traditional medication or an e-cigarette, evidence shows that you have a much better chance of quitting with the support of your stop smoking service.

Cigarettes contain nicotine and by regularly smoking over a period of time, your body becomes dependent on it. Giving up smoking can cause nicotine withdrawal symptoms, which include cravings, feeling irritable and headaches. Stop smoking medications can help you manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms. There are plenty of stop smoking medicines out there to give you the extra support you need to beat the cravings. Here’s our guide to stop smoking medicines, how they work and how to use them to help you quit for good.   

Champix is an alternative to Nicotine Replacement Therapy. It is available through the Specialist Stop Smoking Service on prescription only from a medical professional. Champix works to reduce your cravings and withdrawals that you may feel when quitting. It will reduce the enjoyment you feel from smoking, however, you will still need to be motivated to stop smoking and prepared to make changes to help break the habit. Champix is a 12 week course and comes in a tablet form, before starting Champix you will need to discuss setting a quit date with your advisor, this should be between days 8-14 of taking the medication.

Nicotine patches work by releasing a steady amount of nicotine into the bloodstream through the skin. They can be worn round the clock (24-hour patches) or just during the time you are awake (16-hour patches).
Patches are available in different strengths. Whichever strength you start on, you should aim to gradually reduce the strength over time before stopping the use of patches completely

Nicotine Gum
Gum is available in three strengths: 2mg, 4mg and 6mg. When you use the nicotine gum, the nicotine is absorbed through the lining of your mouth. To release the nicotine from the gum you will need to chew until the taste becomes strong or hot. After this you can rest the gum inside your cheek. Once the taste or heat fades you will need to chew again to release more nicotine. Discard the gum once the taste from chewing has faded. When you first quit smoking you should be chewing about one piece of gum every hour. Gradually you can begin to cut down on the amount of gum you use.

Nicotine Lozenges
Lozenges are placed in the mouth and dissolve slowly to release nicotine. Lozenges work in a similar way to nicotine gum, they release the nicotine from the lozenge which is absorbed through the lining of your mouth. You will need to suck the lozenge until the taste becomes strong or hot, after this you can rest the lozenge inside your cheek. Once the taste fades you will need to suck again to release more nicotine. The lozenges take between 10-30 minutes to dissolve.
You should use lozenges for about 12 weeks. For the first six weeks you should have one lozenge every one to two hours. You should then reduce your intake to one lozenge every two to four hours, finally reducing to once every four to eight hours in the last two weeks of treatment.

Mouth Spray
Quickmist Mouth Spray relives and/or prevents craving and nicotine withdrawal symptoms associated with nicotine dependence. You should use the spray whenever you feel the urge to smoke, up to a maximum of 4 sprays per hour/64 sprays per day. You should use the spray for 12 weeks but over time, you should need to use the spray less in order to control your nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

The nicotine inhalator works by releasing nicotine vapour when you suck on it, the vapour is then absorbed through the mouth and throat into your bloodstream.  You will need to use this regularly throughout the day as it takes about 30 minutes for the nicotine to reach the blood and it will take approximately 10 inhalations to get the equivalent of one puff of cigarette. The inhalator is good for those that miss the hand to mouth action however it is important to bear in mind that this will eventually have to be discontinued, to be free from smoking habits.
You should aim to use the inhalator for a total of 12 weeks. Use up to 6 cartridges a day initially depending on how many cigarettes you smoke. Over time you should reduce the use of the inhalator gradually, finally stopping completely in the last week.

Being in hospital has made me more self-aware and health conscious; it has got me thinking more about my health and making better long term choices, so I have given up smoking.
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