Monday, June 10, 2013

Smoking and health

We all know smoking's bad for the health, right? The statistics are just too clear on this for anyone to seriously take any other position than to accept that - whether or not you smoke - it would be far, far better for the health to be a non-smoker.

The thing about smoking, though, is that for those who're addicted, giving up can be a tricky business - and there's now a whole industry built up around smoking cessation - from nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) such as

  • Patches
  • Inhalers
  • Gum
  • Nasal spray
  • Inhalers
  • Lozenges/ tablets
These products can help people find a kind of 'bridge/ between smoking and being smoke free - by taking the edge off the nicotine cravings while also getting people out of the habit of performing the actions of smoking. This last one is particularly important since it means that those giving up smoking are able to form new patterns of behaviour and weaken the smoking triggers they used to have, such as after a meal.

Giving up smoking, as the smoking cessation literature often says, is a bit of an event - one that smokers are encouraged to set a date for, and thereafter not smoke. And while we'd all like to see a world where there's nothing other than the very real fact that it's unhealthy being enough in itself to get people to give up, there are many who don't.

And then there's the in-between - the people who may not feel able to give up immediately and outright. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have issued new guidelines. These guidelines are a bit of a departure from what we've seen before - and highlight how smokers can lessen the harm done for people who

"may not be able (or do not want) to stop smoking in one step
may want to stop smoking, without necessarily giving up nicotine
may not be ready to stop smoking, but want to reduce the amount they smoke"

Essentially the guideline looks at safe uses of NRT alongside reduced smoking to lessen health risks. See the link to NICE above for more info 

1 comment:

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