The addiction potential of tobacco smoking as well as the difficulty to quit is often underestimated by smokers.1
Smoking,alongside heroin, is seen as the substance with the highest “pure addiction potential”. 1
Why is it difficult to stop smoking?
The nicotine in cigarettes triggers the dopamine level in your brain and this stimulates the desire and reward system. 1
The brain gets used to the level of nicotine and needs more or stronger stimulation to reach its reward state. 1
This is why the more you smoke the more you want to smoke. 1 Your brain also associates certain situations with smoking, e.g. smoke break, coffee drinking and learned behaviour such as reaching for the packet of cigarettes.1
Now’s your time to start
Start with a plan and write down the reasons why you want to stop smoking: 2
Claim back 2–3 months of life expectancy for every year you quit I
- Reduce your risk of a heart attack
- Stop damage to your lungs
- Limit your chances of getting cancer
- Reduce stress levels
- Better mood
*You only live once
There are medications that can help you on your journey to a smoke-free life.
Speak to a medical professional about treatment options. Nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) give you a low dose of nicotine to help relieve the physical withdrawal symptoms. 3
Ask your doctor or pharmacist about smoking cessation options to help you start a smoke-free life!
I For people over the age of 35 years
References:1. Muehlig S. Tobacco Addiction. In: Psychiatric Disorders - Trends and Developments. (Ed) Uehara T. [online] 2011 Oct 26 [cited 2020 June 23]. Available from: URL: http://www.intechopen.com/books/psychiatric-disorders-trendsand-developments/tobacco-addiction. 2. West R. Tobacco smoking: Health impact, prevalence, correlates and interventions. Psychol Health.2017 Apr;32(8):1018-1036. 3. Jordan CJ, Xi Z-X. Discovery and development of varenicline for smoking cessation. Expert Opin Drug Discov. 2018 Jul;13(7):671–683.Breakthroughs thatchange patients’lives
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