It has been shown that quit smoking plans that include counselling as well as smoking cessation medications can increase your chance of success with quitting up to four times more than without them. So it’s important to include these as part of your quit smoking plan.
You think those medications are too expensive? Wait - how much do you spend on tobacco each week? Multiply that by 52 and get your cost of smoking per year. As you quit, you can use this money to help pay for your quit smoking medications and, once you are a non-smoker that money becomes savings you can use for other things.
First, talk to your Doctor about the various medications you can use. They can help you decide which one is right for you based on your health as well as what dose to use, depending on the amount you smoke. Sometimes they will advise using more than one product – but it’s very important to get their advice before you do. And they can help advise you if you happen to experience side effects.
What are the options?
There are prescription and non-prescription products available. Products that can be prescribed by your Doctor include varenicline (Champix) and buproprion (Zyban). Neither contains nicotine. Instead, they work in the brain to help reduce the desire to smoke and decrease withdrawal effects.
Medications that you can buy at the pharmacy, without a prescription, are generally based on nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) – nicotine patch, gum, inhalers, lozenges or mist. Both the gums and the lozenges satisfy oral cravings and allow you to control how much nicotine you use. The patch is more discreet, applied just once a day and supplies a constant controlled dose of nicotine to reduce cravings.
How does continuing to use nicotine make sense? Nicotine doesn’t hurt your health as much as all the other dangerous chemicals and pollutants in tobacco, even though it’s the addictive part. So stopping the tobacco use, adding nicotine back and then reducing it slowly helps you live healthier while you ‘kick’ the nicotine addiction. But remember – if you start smoking again, stop using NRT immediately, as you do not want to add even more nicotine to your body.
Life Brand makes your choice easier with a wide variety of affordable, high quality, Nicotine Replacement products. You can choose from Life Brand QUIT! Clear or Tan Nicotine Patches, Chill Mint or Fresh Fruit flavoured Nicotine Gums in three different strengths as well as Mint and Fruit flavoured Nicotine Lozenges. If you have questions about any medications, your Shoppers Drug Mart Pharmacist is available to help– just ask!