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Smoking Cessation


Stopping smoking is one of the most positive things you can do for your health. It is never too late to start your journey to improved health, wellbeing and quality of life.

Our pharmacy team are on hand to give you helpful advice and tips on increasing your chances of successfully stopping. We also stock a range of Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRT), including patches, gum, lozenges and inhalers. By asking you a few quick questions about your smoking habits and lifestyle, we can help you choose the product best suited to your needs.

We can also recommend ways to manage cravings and withdrawals and let you know what to expect when you stop.

Did you know?

Using Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) products increases chances of successfully stopping by up to 70%.

Making the decision to stop smoking is a great one. However everyone’s reasons for quitting will be different. Below are some of the benefits you can look forward to when you stop smoking.

You will look and feel better and enjoy fresher breath and nicer smelling clothes.

You will be fitter, have more energy and enjoy a better quality of life.

You will reduce exposure of your family and friends to second hand smoke.

You will have more money in your pocket!

After just 24 hours of quitting you will reduce your risk of a heart attack.

  • After 48 hours your sense of smell and taste improve.
  • After 3 days nicotine is gone from your body completely.
  • After 2-3 weeks your lung function will improve
  • Within 2-3 months your lung capacity can increase by up to 30%.
  • Within 1 year your chance of heart attack drops by half and within 10 years the risk drops to almost the same as a non-smoker.
  • Within 5 years the risk of smoking related cancers will be greatly reduced.

How else can your Hickeys pharmacy team help?

It often takes more than will-power to quit smoking – support and motivation are also key factors. Your Hickeys Pharmacy team are available to support and motivate you with the following health services available in-store.

Ask your pharmacist to check your blood pressure on day one and re-check each time you visit the pharmacy. As smoking increases your blood pressure, this will show the positive effect stopping smoking is having on your long term health.

If you have asthma, we can measure your lung capacity by checking your peak-flow before and after you stop smoking. This is a great way of showing the positive change stopping has on your lung function.

Weight gain is a concern for many of those who stop smoking. Our BMI checks will help to keep an eye on your weight as you quit.

Remember that smoking is highly addictive and it can take some people multiple attempts before they stop smoking for good. The important thing is to keep trying until you are successful – once you have your reasons for stopping set firmly in your mind, you will get back on track in your own time.

If you find that NRT is not working for you, be sure to talk to us about alternative options available on prescription from your GP.

Prepare to quit: Make a list of why you are quitting – pros and cons.
Pick a quit date: Gradually cut down your smoking. Pick a date and stick to it.

Get support: Your Hickeys pharmacist can encourage you to quit and can help you on each step you take. Speak to a family member, a friend or your GP for support.

Don’t be worried about withdrawal symptoms: They are common. They are positive signs that your body is recovering from the effects of tobacco.

Deal with your cravings: Remember they only last 5 minutes! Distract yourself, move away from the situation. Drink a glass of water or fruit juice (sip slowly).

Count your savings: Put away the amount of money you would normally spend on cigarettes per week and watch it grow!
Watch what you eat: Eat little and often and try to avoid allowing yourself to go too hungry as this may trigger cravings.
Choose your snacks carefully: Opt for fresh fruit, raw vegetables or low-fat yogurt.

Watch what you drink: Avoid high sugar fizzy drinks, too much caffeine and limit your amount of alcohol.
Digestion: You may experience a difference in your digestion after quitting smoking – talk to a member of your Hickeys Pharmacy Team who can give you great advice on dealing with constipation, diarrhoea or stomach upset.

Take one day at a time:
It may take a while to get used to being without a cigarette in your hand but remember the list of reasons why you are quitting.

*This service is available at selected Hickeys Pharmacies. Ask your pharmacy team for details. To find your nearest Hickey's Pharmacy, click here.