Beyond the Smoke: A New Life Awaits

Beyond the Smoke: A New Life Awaits

Feb 05, 2024Fahid Azher

Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. The multiple, often catastrophic, adverse effects of smoking are well known. Smoking can cause a variety of health problems, from lung cancer to heart disease and stroke. All patients who smoke should be encouraged to quit and offered support for kicking the habit. In most cases, helping patients to quit smoking will be the single most effective health intervention that health care providers can provide. It leads to an immediate improvement in the quality of life. Benefits include better lung function, improved sense of taste and smell, and higher energy levels. Over time, the risk of tobacco-related diseases decreases, leading to a longer and healthier life

But quitting smoking can be difficult, especially if one has been smoking for a long time. That's why it's important to consult a doctor. A doctor can help develop a quit plan tailored individually, whether that involves nicotine replacement therapy, medication, counseling, or a combination of these approaches. Many people find support groups and hotlines helpful to help stay motivated and on track.

When trying to quit smoking, these tips may help:

  • Make lists of reasons why it is a good idea to quit. Read over these when the temptation to smoke strikes.
  • Use an app to track your progress. Reaching milestones, such as a day without smoking, can help motivate a person to continue.
  • Medications reduce the discomfort of quitting while the person learns to re-engineer their life to support a tobacco-free lifestyle.

Smoking cessation products offer a practical, accessible, and effective method supporting individuals in their journey to quit smoking. We, at PharmaCare,  recognize  and encourage the purchase of these over the counter products. It is also available online on our website.

Nicotine replacement therapy, also known as NRT, helps quit smoking by gradually providing the body with smaller doses of nicotine over time, without exposing to the toxic chemicals found in cigarette smoke. The goal of nicotine replacement is to relieve cravings and reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Nicotine replacement therapy is available in different formulations. It comes in 7, 14 and 21 mg strengths. Look for recommended doses on packaging to help determine where to start.



Nicotine patch

The nicotine patch is a small, self-adhesive patch that releases a slow, steady amount of nicotine into the body through skin. Apply a new nicotine patch every day on the upper arm or chest. It can control nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms for 24 hours at a time.

 Nicotine chewing gum

Nicotine gum contains a small amount of nicotine. The nicotine enters the body as it's absorbed through the lining of the mouth when the gum is used according to directions. Initially, nicotine gum can be taken as a piece every one to two hours, up to 24 pieces a day.

Nicotine lozenges

By dissolving in the mouth, nicotine lozenges deliver nicotine directly to the bloodstream through the mucous membranes in the mouth. This method provides quicker relief from cravings and withdrawal symptoms compared to other forms of NRT that may take longer to enter the bloodstream.


It is advised not to drink coffee, orange juice, soda or alcohol for 15 minutes before or while chewing a piece of gum or sucking a lozenge. These drinks make the nicotine replacement less powerful.

These products can be used as part of a gradual weaning process, reducing the nicotine dose over time. This approach helps minimize withdrawal symptoms and eases the transition to becoming completely nicotine-free. Many people find withdrawal symptoms disappear completely after 2-4 weeks, sometimes extending to 3 months. However, as with any smoking cessation method, it's beneficial to use them as part of a comprehensive quit plan that may include support groups, counseling, or other forms of therapy to address the behavioral aspects of addiction.

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