We all know that smoking isn't good for us and is associated with serious health risks but for some, the habit is too hard to kick. Whether you've tried before and not succeeded or you've made it one of your New Year's resolutions to quit, we've created a helpful guide to get you started with your quit smoking journey.
Smoking & Cosmetic Surgery
If you are looking to have cosmetic surgery with MYA then you will need to quit smoking 4 weeks prior to surgery, this includes all nicotine containing products such as gum, patches and vaping. You will need to refrain from smoking for up to 2 weeks post-surgery and we advise you continue to remain nicotine-free until you are fully healed.
At MYA you are required to quit smoking before your surgery to ensure you have the best possible recovery and optimal wound healing. By smoking, you are putting yourself at a higher risk of
post-operative infection, which can lead to delayed wound healing, this can result in scars being bigger and more visible, affecting your final results! Anaesthesia can also cause smokers to contract a chest infection post operatively. Some surgeons will require you to have a nicotine test performed on the day of your procedure. If nicotine is tested positive, your operation will be cancelled at your own cost.
10 Self-Help Tips
1. Positive Thinking
You might have tried to quit smoking before and not managed it, but don't let that put you off. Look back at the things your experience has taught you and think about how you're really going to do it this time.
2. Make a plan to quit smoking
Make a promise, set a date and stick to it. Sticking to the "not a drag" rule can really help. Whenever you find yourself in difficulty say to yourself, "I will not have even a single drag" and stick with this until the cravings pass.
3. Consider your diet
Is your after dinner cigarette your favourite? A US study revealed that some foods, including meat, make cigarettes more satisfying. Others, including cheese, fruit and vegetables, makes cigarettes taste terrible. So swap your usual steak or burger for a veggie pizza instead.
4. Change your drink
The same study as above also looked at drinks. Fizzy drinks, alcohol, tea and coffee all make cigarettes taste better. So when you're out, drink more water and juice.
5. Identify your cravings
A craving can last 5 minutes. Before you give up, make a list of 5-minute strategies. For example, you could leave the party for a minute, dance or go to the bar. Health alert: the combination of smoking and drinking raises your risk of mouth cancer by 38 times.
6. Get support
If friends or family members want to give up too, suggest to them that you give up together. There is also support available from your local stop smoking service. Did you know that you're up to 4 times more likely to quit successfully with their expert help and advice?
7. Get moving
A review of scientific studies has proved exercise – even a 5-minute walk or stretch – cuts cravings and may help your brain produce anti-craving chemicals
8. Make non-smoking friends
When you're at a party, stick with the non-smokers.
9. Keep your hands and mouth busy
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) can double your chances of success. As well as patches, there are tablets, lozenges, gum and a nasal spray. And if you like holding a cigarette, there are handheld products like the inhalator. There are also e-cigarettes.
10. Make a list of reasons to quit
Keep reminding yourself why you made the decision to give up. Make a list of the reasons and read it when you need support.
There are serious health risks associated with having surgery while still smoking (or taking nicotine) so it's vital you make every effort to quit smoking for your procedure – and for good! For more information and advice contact your GP or local NHS stop smoking service.