Smoking is addictive and therefore is not easy to quit, Sunway Medical Centre retail pharmacy manager James Cheng acknowledges.
“When an individual decides to quit, a day without smoking itself is a small victory. And over a period of time, it adds up to a big victory.
“Many quit smoking for personal health reasons and to prevent the effects of smoking from affecting their loved ones. These are some good motivations to quit smoking.
“There are always people who want to quit smoking but often times they fail for various reasons.
“Determination is key. Creating good habits and surrounding oneself in non-smoking environments will be helpful in the long run, ” he added.
Cheng related the story of a 55-year-old diabetic man who had smoked for more than 30 years.
“I often advised him to quit smoking. After undergoing a coronary angioplasty procedure, he decided to kick the habit.
“He is now a non-smoker and his diabetes is well controlled.
“His children and grandchildren are amazed by his determination to quit.
“Today, he advises others to quit smoking, ” he said.
Cheng gives some tips on how to quit smoking:
1. Think of all the important reasons that made you decide to quit. Remind yourself by keeping a photo of the person(s) important to you, in a spot where you can see it every day.
2. Avoid people, activities and places that link you with smoking.
3. Physical exercise can help relieve stress and the urge to smoke. This also helps maintain physical fitness and overall health and wellness.
4. Avoid heavy meals and alcoholic drinks. This can help curb the urge to light up a cigarette.
5. For those who miss the feeling or crave smoking, try replacing with toothpick, lollipop or chewing gum. If you miss the feeling of holding something in your hand, try a pencil, a coin or an ice-cream stick.
6. Reward yourself with the money saved from buying cigarettes.
7. When you need extra support, call a helpline that specialises in aiding smokers to quit.
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