Did you know that the average smoker in Alberta spends $50 dollars a week on smoking?
And the financial losses smokers suffer aren’t even the worst part. Smoking has also been linked to high blood pressure, breathing troubles, stroke, heart attacks and cancer – all of which can greatly impact a person’s quality of life.
“Your family doctor can help you set goals and develop a plan to make it easy to quit smoking,” says Dr. Troy McKibbin of Pinnacle Medical Centres Okotoks location. “And if needed, they can even write you a prescription for medications specifically designed to improve your chances of quitting.”
Here are a few tips that will make quitting easy.
1- Nicotine Replacements
Nicotine is a very addictive drug that can be difficult to give up right away because it both stimulates the body and calms people’s sensations for the drug. Replacing cigarettes with one of the several options on the market – gum, patch, lozenge, nasal spray and inhaler – will help your body get its “fix” while you receive the drug in a less harmful way.
2– Hang Out With Non-Smokers
The funny thing about people who smoke, is they generally do it around people that smoke. It almost serves as kind of social experience for smokers to share the common bond of polluting their lungs. The other interesting thing, people that don’t smoke generally don’t hang around with people who smoke. Start hanging out with non-smokers and you’ll have less of an urge to smoke.
3- Stay Away From Triggers
Very few people, “just go for a smoke”. There are often other things involved before a person lights up. At work, they might have a coffee before lighting up. When they’re out with friends for a drink, maybe they’ll go for a smoke after every drink. And maybe, a person might light up just before they head off to bed. No one is saying quit all those things all together, especially the going to bed one, but be aware of what you associate with having a smoke so that you can push through the craving.
4- Stock Up On Healthy Treats
One trick to quitting smoking is to always keep your mouth busy with something. For some people that means having lots of gum or mints around, but for others that means always snacking on sugary treats. If you’re the type of person to supplement smoking with candy or junk food, do yourself a favor and find a healthy treat to snack on instead. Options we recommend are nuts, fruit and vegetables.
5- Talk to Your Family Doctor
Your family doctor is trained to offer advice on how to quit smoking. They can help you design a plan to quit at your own pace and even give you a prescription for medication which may help you quit. As an added plus if you’ve been seeing your family doctor for a while they will have an accurate record of how smoking has impacted your health over time, and they also be able to show you the improvements of your health as you reduce and quit smoking.