We understand how difficult it can be to make the decision to stop smoking. Self-doubt is one of the big reasons people don’t give up smoking – fear about how you will handle stress, fear of giving up your pleasure, fear that you just can’t do it. The MyQuit program is not here to tell you why you should quit – it is designed to help with how to quit in a way that will work for you.
You’ll find that our approach is different and personalized to your situation. Most people who quit smoking will tell you it’s the best thing they have ever done and they feel better, less stressed, and happy they finally did it.
You Can Stop Smoking
How to give yourself the best chance of success.
Quitting smoking is a journey that may require a few detours along the way. It can take several quit attempts to achieve success. Don’t let that get you down, though. Each quit attempt teaches you something about what worked and what didn’t work, which will help you be more successful in quitting for good on your next attempt.
How the Brain Reacts to Nicotine
What happens to the brain when you smoke a cigarette. – Dr. Andrew Pipe
The Right Amount of Help
Different strategies available to help you quit smoking. – Dr. Andrew Pipe
Everybody knows that it’s hard to quit, but not everybody knows why it is so difficult to quit. The reason is that nicotine is a highly addictive drug that changes the chemistry in your brain. While taking a drag on a cigarette makes you feel good and relaxed at first, over time your brain adjusts to the stimulation caused by nicotine. So you need more nicotine to get that same feeling and eventually you need nicotine just to feel normal.
No two people have the same experience quitting smoking. Some people find they can quit with little or no withdrawal symptoms, and others have a really tough time quitting. Here are a few reasons some people might find quitting smoking more difficult than others.
Genetics – Some people are naturally more susceptible to addiction and therefore become hooked easier and can have a harder time quitting.
How Addicted You Are – Not everybody has the same level of addiction. Those who are more addicted often require more support to successfully quit smoking.
How Motivated You Are – How motivated you are to quit smoking can play a big role in your quit success.
Timing – When there are other stressful things happening in your life it can be very difficult to successfully quit smoking.
How Much Temptation You Have – Different people have different levels of temptation. If you don’t have a plan to deal with temptation then you’re less likely to be successful.
While everybody knows that smoking can lead to long-term health issues, many don’t realize just how many benefits there are to quitting smoking, and how quickly they can be felt after you stop smoking.
Benefits to Health and Appearance:
Benefits to Lifestyle:
Addiction – When you smoke, your body develops a physical addiction to nicotine that means it needs nicotine to feel normal. If you have struggled with quitting before it’s important to remember that it’s not you, it’s the addictive nature of cigarettes.
Routines/Triggers – If you have been smoking for a while, you will have certain times of the day, places, people, and situations that you associate with smoking. An important part of quitting smoking is to begin associating these routines or triggers with things besides reaching for a cigarette.
The MyQuit program will help you learn more about what kind of smoker you are and teach
you techniques that will significantly increase your chances of succeeding.
Quit smoking medications have been shown to double or triple your chances of successfully quitting smoking. These medications are safe to use and can help manage cravings and other feelings of withdrawal while you get used to life as a non-smoker. While medication usage will vary from person to person, they are typically used for 10-26 weeks.
There are three types of medications for you to choose from:
To give you a better understanding of the different quit smoking medications we’ve listed some of the available options, but you’ll get a better idea of what might work best for you after you discuss the options with one of the MyQuit coaches.
NRT helps to reduce your withdrawal symptoms, like cravings to smoke, anxiety, irritability, and headaches that commonly occur when trying to quit smoking.
NRT comes in the form of patch, inhaler, gum, lozenge, or mouth spray. Each form can be used alone, but many people use two or more forms of NRT to help them quit. The type, amount, and length of NRT treatment can be changed to meet your needs.
Zyban (also known as bupropion) is another pill option. Zyban helps reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms by changing the levels of naturally occurring chemicals in the brain.
Champix (also known as varenicline) comes in pill form. It works by stimulating the nicotine receptors in your body to reduce both cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Many patients find it takes away the satisfaction you get from smoking.
Cravings are your body’s reaction to nicotine withdrawal. You may feel tightness in your throat or stomach, accompanied by feelings of tension or mild anxiety. The intensity of cravings usually decreases over a 2-3 week period.
It’s good to know cravings typically last 3-5 minutes and pass after that. So the trick is to delay long enough for the craving to pass. Here are some tips to remember when you feel the urge to smoke.
Along with experiencing regular cravings when you quit smoking, many people have triggers that cause them to reach for a cigarette. For some people it’s having a drink or taking a drive, while others associate waking up in the morning with having a cigarette. By first understanding your triggers and then changing your routines, you will dramatically increase your chances of success.
Here are some possible triggers you might have. With the help of your quit coach, you’ll begin to identify what your specific triggers are and develop strategies that work for you.
One of the most underused sources of support when quitting smoking comes from family and friends. That’s because a lot of people keep their quit attempt a secret, as they’re worried about the potential embarrassment associated with failure. The fact of the matter is though, that telling close friends and family about your quit attempt can increase your odds of succeeding.
It’s important to remember that the people you tell are there to support you, not to judge you. They’ll be happy to hear that you’re trying to quit smoking and will be able to support you through the tough times during your quit journey as well as celebrate with you when things are going well.
When you decide to quit, show your friends and family members the Support section of this website. It will give them great tips on how they can help you through your journey.
Slips and relapses are a very common part of quitting. Don’t let them get you down, learn from them and continue your quit attempt. Here are some tips that can help you prevent a relapse and keep you on the right track to successfully quitting.
There are many benefits to being active when planning to quit. Here is a list of some of these benefits but remember to start slower if you don’t exercise regularly.
You don’t need to join a gym, just make sure you move around. Take the stairs instead of the elevator; go for a walk with a friend; walk your dog or a friend’s dog; or get off the bus a few stops ahead of your destination and walk. Canada’s Physical Activity Guide recommends adults between the ages of 18-64 get approximately 150 minutes of physical activity per week.
Eating healthy when quitting can be a great way to manage your weight and get you back on track to a healthier lifestyle. Here are some ways to start eating healthier:
For more information, refer to the UOHI’s 10 Tips for Healthy Eating.