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Stoptober is a Public Health England campaign, launched several years ago as a result of research showing that if you stop smoking for 28 days, you are five times more likely to quit smoking for good. As a testament to the campaign, over the past seven years, Stoptober has helped drive over one million people to attempt to quit smoking.
To support this year’s Stoptober, LloydsPharmacy has developed a range of resources that you can pick up in store to help you stay motivated on your journey. LloydsPharmacy also offer a free NHS ‘Stop Smoking Service’ at selected stores, where trained stop smoking advisors can provide invaluable one to one support through regular appointments and a tailored plan. This includes advice on the most suitable nicotine replacement therapy products for you.
To help encourage smokers to kick the habit this Stoptober, LloydsPharmacy pharmacist Anshu Kaura recommends five ways to help you stop smoking:
1. Remove temptations
“One of the first steps you can take when stopping smoking is to throw away your cigarettes, tobacco, and ashtrays alongside any other smoking paraphernalia or items you associate with smoking. This will help ensure you’re not tempted. If you tend to smoke more when drinking alcohol, try cutting down on your consumption or try and switch to lower alcohol or even non-alcoholic drinks[ii]. Alternatively, if finishing a meal means having a cigarette, try changing your routineiv. You could read a chapter of your favourite book, catch up on your favourite show or retreat to another area of the house which you don’t associate with smokingiv.”
2. Learn more about NRT
“NRT Stands for Nicotine Replacement Therapies which can help you stop smoking. These may include patches, chewing gum and mouth sprays. NRT products work by slowly releasing nicotine at low rate into the bloodstream to prevent withdrawal and reduce cravings[iii].
“It has been shown that you are twice as likely to quit smoking using stop smoking medication than going it alone[iv]. If you’re unsure which NRT is best for you, visit your local LloydsPharmacy and speak to a member of our team for advice.”
3. Get support
“It is thought that expert help and advice can improve your chances of quitting smoking successful by four times[v]. As well as visiting your local LloydsPharmacy to speak to our experts for advice and encouragement, enlist the support of your friends too.
“In addition, if friends or family members want to give up too, suggest to them that you give up together so that you have moral supportvi. Apps such as the ‘NHS Smoke Free’ are also a great way to stay motivated, as they include features that can help you calculate how much money you could save whilst tracking how many days you have been smoke free.”
4. Stay active
“As well as finding the right NRT that works for you, it is a good idea to be as active as possible whilst on your journey to quitting smoking. Exercise can work as a distraction method, as well as releasing endorphins[vi] that will boost your mood. This can be especially important as irritability can occur in the first stages of quitting smoking[vii]. Studies have also proven that even a five-minute walk or stretch can help cut cravings as it produces anti-craving chemicals in the brainii.”
5. Keep busy
“If you find a certain time of day difficult, try changing your routine, and keeping your hands and mouth busy. You could try a new hobby or engage more in Sudoku’s and crosswords to keep the mind and body distracted. If you are using NRT, use it as much as you need to keep cravings at bay.”
Aston spoke to Anshu Kaura, pharmacist from Lloyds pharmacy to discuss Stoptober and Anshu also offered her tips and advice.