Health Tips Video: Quit Smoking Successfully

London Drugs Pharmacists Can Help You Quit Smoking

We all know smoking is bad for our health, but so many of us still struggle with an addiction to cigarettes. In 2017, Statistics Canada reported that around 5 million people in Canada smoke and of those 5 million, 3.6 million smoke daily.

Smoking Can Cause Serious Health Problems

Smoking is closely linked with many serious health conditions, including:

  • Heart attack or stroke
  • Lung cancer
  • Other forms of cancer, such as mouth and throat cancer
  • Dental problems
  • Fertility issues

Smoking also yellows skin, teeth, and nails.

Second-hand Smoke is Also Dangerous

Smoking isn’t just dangerous to the smoker. Second-hand smoke is also a serious problem. In Canada, over 800 non-smokers die each year from illnesses caused by second-hand smoke. Children are especially at risk, and are more likely to develop asthma, leukemia, respiratory infections, and other conditions if exposed to second-hand smoke.

It’s Never Too Late to Quit Smoking

You might think it’s too hard to quit smoking, or it’s too late if you’ve been smoking for a long time, but it’s never too late to quit. Penny Lehoux, a Registered Pharmacist and Certified Tobacco Educator with London Drugs, says quitting smoking has health benefits at any age, with almost an immediate effect.

If you quit smoking, your health will improve in the following ways:

  • Within 20 minutes, blood pressure lowers
  • Within 24 hours, the risk of heart attack is reduced
  • Within 2 weeks to 3 months, your lungs work better

All of these effects will increase your life expectancy, regardless of how long you’ve been smoking or when you quit.

We Can Support Your Efforts to Quit Smoking

There are many types of smoking cessation aids that may help you on your journey to quit smoking, such as nicotine replacements to help with nicotine cravings and prescription medications that can reduce the physical effects of addiction.

There is also lots of support available to people who want to stop smoking via community groups, counselling, and online tools. Check out Alberta Quits in AB and QuitNow in BC.

If you want to speak to someone directly, London Drugs offers consultations with pharmacists to give you tips and advice on how to reduce your tobacco consumption. They’ll work with you on making a plan to quit, potentially including prescription medication if it makes sense for you.

Visit or call your local London Drugs to book an appointment with a Certified Tobacco Educator and make sure to bring any current medications, over-the-counter drugs, or herbal remedies with you to your appointment—this will help your pharmacist make your personalized smoking cessation plan.

For more tips on how to quit smoking, visit your local London Drugs and speak to a Certified Tobacco Educator, or visit online.

Dr Art Hister – It’s Never Too Late to Change

One of the most important lessons I try to leave with my audiences, especially when I’m addressing a group of seniors, is this: it’s never too late to change and to start doing healthy lifestyle things you’ve long neglected or even never done.

So even when you get into your nineties – and the great thing is that the over-80 demographic is probably the quickest-growing demographic in Canada – there is always something more you can do to make your life more pleasant, to give you more energy, to help you cope with the inevitable conditions that accompany aging, to reduce your risk of illness, to keep your brain sharper, and even perhaps to prolong your life. Although, if you are going to make a change, one other bit of advice: go about it slowly because there’s really no rush.

And to illustrate the truth of that advice, that is, that it really is never too late to make healthy lifestyle changes, a study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston followed 2231 patients who had what is called left ventricular (LV) dysfunction, that is, in these people, the left ventricle of the heart (the bearing chamber that sends blood into the rest of the body) wasn’t working properly any more as a result of a heart attack.

Of these people, 463 had been smokers at the time of their heart attack, and although most of us would think that none of them would continue to smoke after suffering a heart attack, we know from many studies that a majority of smokers continue to smoke after a heart attack, which was the case in this study, too: 268 of these people continued to smoke.

At the end of 5 years, comparing the smokers with the ones who’d quit, 15 % of the non-smokers had had a 2nd heart attack compared to 23 % of the smokers.

So repeat after me: it’s never too late to quit, to start doing more exercise, to eat better, etc. It just takes will.