BY JOSEPH HANNA
WE’VE ALL heard
about the negative
e;ects of cigarettes on
ourselves and on those
around us. However,
it doesn’t make quitting smoking any
easier. That’s because
tobacco products contain nicotine, a highly
addictive drug that
temporarily makes you
feel good and relaxed. Whether you are an
occasional or a two-packs-a-day smoker,
it can be very difficult to kick the habit.
Nevertheless, learning about the positive
effects of quitting smoking and taking
the right approach can be one step toward
Bene;ts of quitting
The thought of quitting can be daunting, but the benefits come much faster
than you may think.
• Within ;; hours, your risk for a heart
attack starts to drop.
• After a few days, your sense of taste
and smell will improve.
• After a few short weeks, your ability
to do regular activities and exercise will
• Just one year after quitting, your risk
of getting heart disease will be reduced by
;; per cent.
• Within the next decade, your risk of
dying from many types of cancers will be
• Fifteen years after quitting, the risk
of heart disease will be about the same as
for a non-smoker.
Your quitting program
The journey of leaving this habit
behind is both personal and complex, but
several therapies can improve your odds of
succeeding. One popular option is nicotine
replacement therapy, which is available
without a prescription at your local Costco
pharmacy and comes in a variety of forms,
including gum, lozenges, inhalers and
patches. When used correctly, these products can double your chances of quitting
for good. They work because they reduce
withdrawal symptoms by providing your
body with a small amount of nicotine but
none of the other harmful chemicals found
in tobacco. Two types of prescription medications can also help reduce your cravings
and allow you to slowly taper down on the
number of cigarettes you smoke.
While medications help with the
withdrawal symptoms, often leading to
success in quitting, you also have to ;nd
ways to change the behaviour associated
with smoking. This is where cognitive
behavioural therapy (CBT) can help. In
combination with medicines, CBT can
further help improve your odds of quitting by helping you rewire your brain and
by teaching you new coping strategies after
breaking the bad habit.
A relapse doesn’t mean it’s game over.
It often takes several attempts before you
become smoke-free. If you feel ready for
this journey, talk to your Costco pharmacist. He or she can guide you through the
steps and help you decide which product
and approach is best for you. C
Pharmacies in Costco’s Quebec locations are independently owned and operated by pharmacists.
That’s it—I quit!
B.Sc. Phm., CDE,
CGP, is director of
FOR YOUR HEALTH
To ensure this product is right for you always read
and follow the label. Keep all medicines out of the
reach of children. Pharmacies in Costco’s Quebec
locations are independently owned and operated
by pharmacists. This ad does not apply to the
province of Quebec. Ask your Costco pharmacist
about all your pharmacy needs. Product selection
may vary by location.