FROM THE GP’S SURGERY

Coventry Telegraph - - FAMILY HEALTH - by DR ALEXANDRA PHE­LAN

STOP­TO­BER is a great time to give up smok­ing. Ac­cord­ing to Cancer Re­search UK, as many as two-thirds of all smok­ers will die as a re­sult of their ad­dic­tion, and smok­ing ac­counts for a quar­ter of all cancer deaths in the UK each year. But give up for 28 days and you’re five times more likely to quit for good.

How­ever, giv­ing up can be dif­fi­cult, which is why there are still 10 mil­lion smok­ers in the UK.

There’s a range of strate­gies which can help. The im­por­tant thing is to try one – or a com­bi­na­tion – to find the method that suits you.

GO COLD TURKEY

THIS is tough, but re­cent stud­ies have shown that those who stop abruptly are 25% more likely to suc­ceed than those who try to wean them­selves off cig­a­rettes grad­u­ally.

NICO­TINE RE­PLACE­MENT THER­APY

YOUR GP or lo­cal NHS Stop Smok­ing clinic can pre­scribe treat­ments to help you stop smok­ing. These can come in the form of patches, breath sprays, chew­ing gum or in­hala­tor de­vices – and the good news is they’re avail­able on the NHS through re­peat pre­scrip­tions.

CON­SIDER VA­P­ING

E-CIG­A­RETTES (pic­tured left) are avail­able in all sorts of de­signs and flavours, so it’s easy to see why so many peo­ple use them – but the de­bate about their safety rages on. Be­cause it’s so new, there’s a lack of con­clu­sive ev­i­dence, so vape with cau­tion.

HYP­NO­TISM

IT might sound a bit ‘out there’, but hyp­nother­apy has helped thou­sands to quit. It only takes a few days for the nico­tine to leave your body, so what you’re left with is a psy­cho­log­i­cal crav­ing. Hyp­no­sis ad­dresses this crav­ing.

SHOUT ABOUT IT

TELL ev­ery­one you can that you’ve quit smok­ing; that way it will be harder to fall off the wagon. Why not get spon­sored for char­ity too? Cre­ate as many in­cen­tives as pos­si­ble to stop you hav­ing ‘just one’ when the urge hits.

Talk to your GP or on­line doc­tor, who can re­fer you to a NHS Stop Smok­ing ser­vice, and dis­cuss treat­ments and med­i­ca­tion to help you.

Bad habit: 10 mil­lion still smoke in the UK

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