Smoking Cessation

Smoking Cessation

Tobacco use takes more than 8 million lives every year. It can also cause severe or lethal diseases such as lung and heart diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory affections and diabetes.

In 2020, 22.3% of the world's population had used tobacco. Cigarette smoking is the most frequent form of tobacco consumed and causes significant healthcare expenditures for treating diseases caused by it.

Giving up smoking is one of the best decisions you could make for your health and for the sake of your loved ones, who would enjoy your healthy presence for many years rather than spending painful weeks or months by your hospital bedside.

Smoking in New Zealand

Smoking causes more than 80% of lung cancer in New Zealand. 

New Zealand Health Survey 2020/21 has presented some good news regarding the decrease in smoking as follows:

  • daily smoking has decreased by 7% in the past ten years, from 16% in 2011/12 to 9% in 2020/21;
  • smoking rates in the past year have decreased more than usual, reaching 10.9% in 2020/21 from 13.7% in 2019/20. 

Despite this progress, the survey has highlighted also worrying aspects such as the increased use of e-cigarettes. In 2020/21, 6.2% of New Zealand adults were using e-cigarettes daily compared to 3.5% in 2019/20. 

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), although E-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, they are not safe and have harmful effects on health. And even though the long-term impact of using or being exposed to e-cigarettes is not entirely known yet, they are considered very dangerous, especially for young people who become addicted to nicotine.

How to quit smoking

Although smoking poses significant health risks, quitting is challenging for most smokers. Researchers have identified several methods to help them overcome this obstacle to higher chances of smoking cessation.

1. Define your reason for wanting to quit smoking

Reduce the risk of lethal diseases such as lung cancer, set a good example for your kids, and protect your family from the pain they would experience if you died from smoking. These and others are powerful reasons to motivate you to stop smoking.

2. Have a plan to fight temptation

Think about whom you will call when your craving for smoking seems unbearable. Define a supporting net consisting of family and friends and list helping methods such as counselling or apps dedicated to helping people who struggle to give up this habit. 

3. Consider nicotine replacers

Since nicotine causes addiction, you might experience mood swings, headaches, lower energy, and a craving for one more cigarette when you give it up. Products such as nicotine patches, lozenges and gum can increase your chances of staying away from smoking.

4. Use helping pills prescribed by your doctor

Before you stop smoking, inform your doctor and ask them to prescribe you some medicines that have proven, from a scientific standpoint, efficient in curbing down the craving for nicotine or alleviating the effects caused by quitting.

5. Know your smoking triggers and how to avoid them

Smoking while drinking a coffee or consuming alcohol is a habit of many smokers. If you want to succeed in smoking cessation, you should find something else to do while enjoying a cup of coffee or replace coffee with another beverage. It's recommended to stay away from alcohol in the first weeks of your smoke-free process.

6. Exercise 

Use exercise as a barrier against nicotine craving. Whenever you feel like smoking, walk, run, do some cardio exercises, whatever keeps your mind off cigarettes.

7. Use the money saved to indulge yourself

Smoking cessation has a positive impact also on your budget. You can use the money you save from no longer buying cigarettes for something you like. Indulging yourself will keep you motivated to continue the smoke-free road.

If you have not found yet the reason to give up smoking, consider what happens to your body and health AFTER you quit this unhealthy habit:

  • 20 minutes later - your pulse rate will return to normal.
  • 48 hours later - your lungs have eliminated the carbon monoxide from smoking, and your taste and smell have improved.
  • 2 to 12 weeks later - your muscles work much better.
  • 3 to 9 months later - your lung function is up to 10% better than when you were smoking.
  • one year later - you have 50% less risk of developing a heart attack when compared to a smoker.


Contact Mosgiel Health Centre to learn how we can assist you in your journey to a smoke-free, healthier and happier life!