Smoking Cessation - Addressing Your Barriers to Quit Smoking!

Smoking Cessation - Addressing Your Barriers To Quit Smoking!

1. If I quit smoking immediately, I may die earlier!

Compared to a non-smoker, an average smoker loses about 14 years of life. In a smoke-free person, 95% of that additional time will be spent without disability.

Quitting smoking not only extends disability-free life, it also shortens the health problems acquired previously from smoking.

Related: "Vaping is not smoking", and Other Tobacco Myths

2. I’m too old to quit smoking because it's too late — the damage is already done!

Quitting smoking is never too late! At any age, the sooner you quit, the sooner your health can improve. Continuing to smoke at an old age increases the impairment of mental health.

The sooner you quit, the more you can reduce your chances of getting cancer and other diseases. The moment you choose to quit smoking, your body starts to heal within 20 minutes. After 2 to 5 years, your risk for stroke is similar to that of a non-smoker. In 10-15 years, your lung cancer risk is reduced by 50% and your risk of heart diseases is similar.

Related: Smoking Control Programmes for Adults

3. I have cut down my number of sticks. Just a few sticks a day won’t hurt.

One cigarette contains more than 7,000 chemicals and compounds, of which 1% are known carcinogens.

Hence, each cigarette you smoke hurts your lungs, your blood vessels, and cells throughout your body, increasing the risk of cancer. Cutting back is not enough to protect you. You have to quit entirely.

Related: Smoking Increases Your Risk of Diabetes

4. I’m smoking ‘filter’ or ‘light’ cigarette which is less harmful.

There is no standard definition of what constitutes a light or ultra-light brand. These may refer to the perceived taste and flavour of cigarettes but not their content. Such misleading labels are no longer allowed. Many light, or ultra-light cigarette smokers may also unconsciously compensate by smoking more or inhaling smoke harder and deeper into the lungs.

Filters do not protect you. They are designed to make smoke particles smaller. That makes nicotine easier to absorb, which in turn increases addiction.

Related: Questions on Smoking, Tobacco Use, and Health

5. I tried quitting and failed, so it’s no use trying again.

The most important thing is not to give up on yourself! Breaking smoking addiction is harder for some people than others. Quitting can take several tries. For some smokers, smoking may actually be a habit or a form of mood reliever rather than an addiction.

Many people who are serious about quitting made several attempts before they quit completely. You can speak to a pharmacist if you need help to quit smoking.

Related: Quitting Smoking — The Supporter’s Guide

6. Smoking cessation medications don’t help!

Some medications, such as nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs), helps to reduce withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting smoking while you focus on resolving other issues that are causing you to smoke. NRTs also help to eliminate the intake of more than 7000 chemicals found in cigarettes.

Commitment to quitting smoking is an important step, but you are more likely to succeed at quitting if you take advantage of smoking cessation medications with the assistance of a medical professional. Feel free to speak to a pharmacist regarding medications used to help quit smoking!

Related: 5 Fast Facts about Nicotine Replacement Therapy

7. I will feel worse after quitting.

It is true that you may feel uncomfortable during the quitting process as withdrawal symptoms may occur. However, this is only temporary as your body is in the process of healing itself.

Here are some reasons why you feel this way:




Lungs are clearing away tar, dead cells and extra mucus.

Light-headedness or Dizziness

Body is getting extra oxygen and lesser carbon monoxide.


Constipation/Stomach Pain

Intestinal movements may slow down for a brief period.


Body takes time to adjust to the lack of stimulation from nicotine.

Difficulty Concentrating

Increased Appetite

Sense of taste and smell improves.

Tingling in Hands and Feet

Blood circulation improves with more supply of oxygen to the fingers and toes.

Meanwhile, you can also cope with cravings of smoking using the 4 ‘Ds’:

  • Delay lighting up.

  • Distract oneself by doing something else that you like to do.

  • Deep breathing exercises.

  • Drink sips of water.

Related: Are E-Cigarettes a Healthier Option?

8. I cannot relate my smoking issue with anyone.

There are healthcare professionals such as pharmacists who are specifically trained to assist and facilitate the process of quitting smoking. Everyone may have a different story to their smoking journey, why not share with us and see how we can assist you?

Start today to stop smoking.


Information provided by this patient information leaflet is solely for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information for diagnosis or treatment of a health problem or disease. Always speak with your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional before taking any medicine or supplement, or adopting any treatment for a health problem. Under no circumstances will Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore be liable to any person for damages of any nature arising in a way from the use of such information.​

Prepared by the Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore, updated July 2016.​


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