Friday, February 23, 2024

Quitting smoking means fighting three addictions: Advice from a tobacco specialist to get there

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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“to The best way to stop smoking is to never start.” Admittedly. We know the proverb. But when it's too late, when the addiction has taken hold, sometimes for many years, how do you stop smoking? And don't relapse…

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Fighting on several fronts

Maryse Napolitano is a tobacco specialist at St. Luke's Clinic in Bougie. She, like her colleagues, agreed to give us some of her time to answer our questions and those of our readers. Starting with the difficulty of quitting smoking for the majority of smokers, which is closely linked to triple dependence, which requires fighting on several fronts at the same time. “We have physical dependence. It's the fairly high need for nicotine that the body needs to fill the gap; then, there's behavioral dependence: which is the smoker's actions and consumption habits; and finally, psychological dependence. It's the comfort cigarette, it calms stress and anxiety and so on.”

To this triple dependence, we must also add the paradoxical phenomenon that many smokers face.

“It's the idea of ​​depriving yourself of pleasure by quitting. It's a barrier to quitting smoking for many smokers.” Except that this idea of ​​“fun” is completely relative. “This relief we feel when we smoke comes from the fact that a moment ago we were in the uncomfortable situation of withdrawal. When we hear people say, 'It's my choice to smoke,' that's not true. There's no longer any freedom from tobacco when you're addicted. ..” In order to get out of this phenomenon of contradiction, it is necessary to obtain help in order to solve all these obstacles that prevent smoking cessation. “Consultations with a tobacco specialist are obviously there for this purpose. There are also apps, hypnosis, smoking cessation groups, or even online, via Tabacstop (0800 11 100): it's good to have all the support.” The beginning of the year can be a good time for this new phase of life. “If you're hesitant, go to your GP first. Or straight to a tobacco specialist… but people come to us as a last resort. That's a shame.” As for failure or setbacks that can discourage smokers from quitting, Maris Napolitano wants to be reassured. “It's part of the process. Few smokers succeed in quitting on the first try… But mistakes are always positive, they allow you to learn. And you should know that the more you try and make mistakes, the more likely you are to quit smoking.” Smoking for good.”

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