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Quit Smoking? Me?

09 Mar 2017

Have you ever said to yourself or heard a friend say, “I’m trying to quit smoking”? It is undeniable that no matter how long you have been smoking, quitting smoking will bring about tremendous health improvements. However, most people who are addicted – yes, smoking is an addiction – find it challenging to break free from this bad habit. They might find themselves asking: Do I really need to quit? Ugh…. But it’s just too difficult. The idea of quitting makes it sound difficult, but the process isn’t. Solutions to quit smoking and the first steps to take are easy to find, and there are many success stories of people who managed to break the chains of this addiction. People who have managed to quit smoking say that the only way to quit is to strongly believe that smoking causes more harm than good. It is impossible for other people to convince a smoker that smoking is bad for them. This is because, to a smoker, smoking is one of the best things ever because they seek the good feeling right after smoking a cigarette. However, countless research has shown that smoking does bring numerous diseases related to it and can shorten one’s life. Another way to be successful in quitting is to really want it. As the famous saying goes, “You can achieve anything you set your mind to believe.” Whatever your motivation and reason is, just remember, YES, you really do need to QUIT —- for the sake of your health and your loved ones. In short, no one else can convince you. You have to convince yourself, and the sooner the better. Will my health really improve? ABSOLUTELY…..! In fact, the effects are quite immediate. Right after 20 minutes, your pulse rate returns to normal. After 12 hours, the nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in blood reduce by more than half and oxygen levels return to normal. After 48 hours, there is no nicotine in the body and you will be able to taste your food better. After 72 hours, breathing becomes easier. Bronchial tubes begin to relax and energy levels increase. After 2-12 weeks, your circulation improves. benefits of quitting When is the right time to quit and become smoke-free? NOW is always the right time. However, for some people, they may feel that they need more time. Some people may also have tried to quit before but failed. Whatever your situation is, you can always speak to trained professionals and decide on the right time to start. Quitting smoking is the single most important step you can take to protect your health and the health of others around you. Here are some simple ways you can start today: 1. Talk to someone – call a friend or talk to trained advisers to get some support. 2. Go for a brisk walk – this can help clear your head and lungs. 3. Stay busy – keep yourself occupied by reading, playing games, or working. 4. Drink a glass of water or juice – right at the moment you feel like smoking. 5. Change the scene – move to another room or step outside and get some fresh air. But what if it gets difficult along the way and I feel like smoking again? Withdrawal symptoms occur when nicotine is discontinued. This is when you might experience the temptation to pick up another cigarette. Find family and friends who will encourage you through the hard times. Getting professional help is one of the best ways to quit successfully. For this reason, the IMU Quit Smoking Services (IMU-QSS) was launched on 22 February 2017 (

“Smoking is not merely habitual. It’s an addiction. It takes more than will power to quit and many unaided attempts to quit fail as a result.”
Dr Sobia Bilal, Project Leader of IMU Quit Smoking Services

Hence, it is important to be surrounded with the right kind of help and support. With the IMU-QSS, three levels of support are provided: professional advice, materials, and will power. A person seeking to quit smoking will have access to professional advice from trained advisers, materials to help the quitting process, and more importantly, access to other health services here at IMU Healthcare.

Here are the services offered under IMU-QSS:
Trained advisers to help patients decide when the is best time to stop and how to succeed
Regular sessions in the first few weeks after stopping to encourage patients to keep going
A choice of medications to suit each patient’s level of smoking and preference, available on prescription and free for the first week of treatment
Carbon monoxide tests to keep patients motivated by showing reduced carbon monoxide levels in their blood after quitting
Continued counselling throughout the quitting process to avoid any slip or relapse.

Patients are offered consultation, screening, prescription of medication, carbon monoxide tests, nicotine replacement therapy, and follow-up counselling for relapse prevention. Certified trainers will guide patients to involve family members and loved ones for moral support when dealing with withdrawal symptoms and mood swings in their journey to quit smoking. The patients will also be directed to identify their triggers and be counselled for coping strategies. What’s next? When you are ready, our IMU-QSS is available at IMU Healthcare’s Oral Health Care, Bukit Jalil Campus of International Medical University every Thursday from 9:15am-12:15pm and resumes from 2:00pm to 5:00pm. For more information, please call +603 2731 7661, or visit References: American Cancer Society: Guide to Quitting Smoking This article is brought to you by IMU Healthcare.

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