Stoptober 2019 is upon us… go smoke free for good!
It’s time to join the thousands of people that will successfully quit smoking this month forever!
Published: Friday 04 October 2019
Thinking about quitting smoking or know of someone who is? It’s time to join the thousands of people that will successfully quit smoking this month forever!
Research  indicates that October is the most successful month each year for quitting smoking since the Stobtober stop smoking campaign began in 2012! Each day you resist the cravings, your odds of quitting dramatically increase. By the end of October, it is reported  that you will be 5 times more likely to successfully abstain from smoking compared to day one of Stoptober!
If there is someone you know that would benefit from going smoke free and making a positive lifestyle change, try the following steps:
- Accept that only they themselves can stop smoking and if they are not ready to quit then it is important to respect their decision.
- If they’ve expressed an interest to quit, offering support as a friend, family member or work colleague can be extremely helpful.
- Find out if they have any reasons for why they may wish to quit smoking, this can be very useful in determining their motivations and goals which will underpin their willpower when quitting.
- Identify potential sources of stress or anxiety that may make someone vulnerable to wanting to smoke.
- Don’t nag! This can often disincentivize change, especially when dealing with addiction which is best dealt with in a supportive and positive environment.
Selecting your Stoptober strategy:
Research  suggests that medication-based treatments in the form of pharmacotherapy are central to smoking quitting strategies. The combined effect of pharmacotherapy with either/or exercise regimes and behavioural strategies are recommended to give yourself the best chance of successfully quitting smoking.
- Champix - Champix is an effective plant-based prescription-based medication scientifically validated to increase your chances of quitting smoking. Champix helps to reduce cravings whilst providing relief from withdrawal symptoms caused by smoking; this is achieved by the blocking of nicotine from reaching nicotine receptors in the brain reducing the addictive short-term dopamine pleasure response.
- Nicotine Replacement Therapy - Nicotine patches, mouth-sprays, lozenges and gum can offer effective relief from withdrawal symptoms. An effective strategy is combination therapy  where patches provide a steady constant level of nicotine but are supplemented with the quick relief of mouth-sprays, lozenges and gum. Read the diferences between Champix and NRTs here.
- Low to medium intensity exercise for two to three hours a week is reported  to reduce the cravings associated with smoking. If you are naturally active or enjoy exercise this may be an effective treatment to integrate into your quitting strategy.
- The START strategy is an effective method for giving you the best chance to quit smoking for good. It involves: Setting a quit date, telling people about your taking on of the challenge, anticipating the challenges, removing all traces of cigarettes and tobacco and telling your doctor.
- It is important to commit to your decision to quit smoking and mentally prepare for the journey. A useful question to ask yourself before taking action to go smoke-free is, why you want to quit? This can be a valuable source of motivation to refer to throughout your bid to stop smoking.
It can feel like a mountain to climb when trying to quit smoking, we are here every step of the way to give you the information and encouragement needed to start a fresh chapter.
- 1. Kuipers, M.A., West, R., Beard, E. and Brown, J., 2019. Impact of the ‘Stoptober’ smoking cessation campaign in England from 2012 to 2017: A quasi-experimental repeat cross-sectional study. Nicotine & Tobacco Research.
- 2. West, R. and Stapleton, J., 2008. Clinical and public health significance of treatments to aid smoking cessation. European Respiratory Review, 17(110), pp.199-204.
- 3. Stead, L.F., Koilpillai, P., Fanshawe, T.R. and Lancaster, T., 2016. Combined pharmacotherapy and behavioural interventions for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
- 4. NHS - Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)
- 5. Ussher, M.H., Taylor, A.H. and Faulkner, G.E., 2014. Exercise interventions for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
Authored by Sarah Bessell
Originally from Australia, Sarah joined the team in 2018 as Pharmica’s Pharmacy Manager. Her job is to manage the dispensary team and the day-to-day running of the pharmacy.
Sarah ensures all our patients receive their orders in a safe and timely manner, and that we continue to provide outstanding patient care.