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Your best decision ever? Stop Smoking

Family Pharmacy

Did you know that 1 in 10 deaths in the adult Portuguese population is caused by tobacco? And that this number rises to 1 in 4 deaths in the 50-59 age group? Did you know that on average it is estimated that life expectancy for smokers is at least 10 years shorter than for non-smokers?   

Tobacco use is a serious public health problem worldwide and is the biggest cause of preventable death in the world. According to OMS, smoking currently kills around 7 million people every year and could kill more than 8 million a year, by 2030.

Smoking can kill you
Smoking can kill you

The list of complications associated with smoking is long and includes: 

  • Respiratory complications - cough, asthma, DPOC, lung cancer and other tumours of the respiratory tract, respiratory infections;
  • Cardiovascular complications - arterial hypertension, tachycardia, atherosclerosis, stroke, coronary heart disease, heart failure; 
  • Reproductive complications - infertility, premature birth, low birth weight and future respiratory diseases for these children; a woman who smokes and takes the pill may suffer from a heart attack, pulmonary embolism and thrombosis. 
  • Others - Gastric ulcers, stomach, pancreas cancer 

If you think these are more than enough reasons to decide to quit smoking, then read this article to find out what you have at your disposal to help you.  

This mission is possible. Talk to your pharmacist or doctor! 

Respiratory and cardiovascular complications
Respiratory and cardiovascular complications

Do you want to quit smoking? 

Quitting smoking is not an easy task, and while some manage to quit smoking relatively easily and without developing symptoms of deprivation, others find it rather difficult.  

Nicotine, which is responsible for tobacco addiction, affects several organs and systems, in particular, the brain receptors associated with the reward system. When you quit smoking, the body tries to adjust to the absence of nicotine. Withdrawal symptoms can then occur and they can be very unpleasant and difficult to bear, leading to relapse. 

Smoking during pregnancy is dangerous
Smoking during pregnancy is dangerous

Withdrawal symptoms: 

  • Depressed mood; 
  • Insomnia; 
  • Difficulties in concentrating, restlessness, nervousness, irritability; 
  • Slower heart rate; 
  • Increased hunger; 
  • Craving for tobacco. 

Therefore, it may be necessary to use support products that can help you quit smoking, while reducing withdrawal symptoms.

Nicotine addiction effects
Nicotine addiction effects

There are two therapeutic approaches available: with or without nicotine.  

  • Nicotine therapy (over-the-counter) - in this type of therapy, the body continues to receive nicotine that gradually will be reduced, thus avoiding withdrawal symptoms. It is imperative that the you really quit smoking while using these products, as there is a risk of nicotine overload in the body. 
  • Gums, lozenges, sucking tablets and orodispersible films - that are chewed or dissolve in the mouth when the person feels the need to smoke; nicotine is gradually released in the mouth and is absorbed by the blood; throughout the treatment, the dose of nicotine is reduced.

Nicotine transdermal patches
Nicotine transdermal patches


  • Patches (transdermal patches) - these patches are applied to the skin (arm or trunk) every 24 hours, alternating the location; nicotine passes through the skin into the bloodstream over that 24-hour period; this therapy can last from 8 to 10 weeks, during which the dose of nicotine is gradually reduced.  
  • Nicotine-free oral therapy (subject to medical prescription) - the treatment can last from 8 to 12 weeks and must be prescribed by a doctor who can decide between varenicline and bupropion.

Decide to quit smoking
Decide to quit smoking

Quitting smoking is always beneficial. 

  • Quitting smoking reduces the risk of premature death; 
  • An ex-smoker reduces the risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease (after 5 to 15 years without smoking, the risk of stroke is the same as that of non-smokers); 
  • After 5 years without smoking, the risk of mouth and oesophagus cancer decreases by half; 
  • After 10 years without smoking, the risk of lung cancer decreases by half;   

Quitting smoking is the best decision a smoker can make! Improve your health and the health of those around you! 


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