Quit Smoking

Order a prescription for your pharmacy of choice for quit smoking treatment.

€21.50 per consultation

€21.50 per consultation

Simply fill in a brief questionnaire. One of our doctors will review your order and prescribe a suitable treatment. How to Order

Quit smoking tablets help you overcome cravings and increase your chances of becoming an ex smoker.

To order smoking cessation medication online, fill in our brief questionnaire. One of our doctors will review your order and approve a prescription for appropriate treatment. We will post your prescription to a local pharmacy in Ireland. Alternatively, you can choose to have your medication delivered directly to your door.

Your ZAVA prescription allows you to buy your quit smoking treatment at any pharmacy in Ireland.

Why is quitting smoking so difficult?

It can be very difficult to quit smoking. Most smokers experience the withdrawal symptoms as particularly challenging. This is because smoking is not just a habit but also involves a physical and psychological addiction to nicotine.

On average, smokers tend to try to stop smoking at least six times before they manage to quit. These repeated unsuccessful attempts often lead to disappointment and frustration, leaving smokers too discouraged to try again.

What are the benefits of quitting smoking?

Whether a smoker achieves his or her goal of never smoking again is highly dependent on their motivation. The more determined you are, the better your chances of quitting. There are many good reasons to stop, which may help you achieve your goal. The most well-known disadvantage of being a smoker is the increased risk of lung, bladder and larynx cancer. Smoking also has a bad impact on your heart health and can lead to heart attack, blood clots and stroke.

For many smokers, the health risk is not the only problem associated with their habit. The financial implications of being a smoker also motivates many to quit.

If you have children or are planning to become a parent soon, you have a particularly good reason to give up smoking. Children whose parents smoke have a much higher risk of developing asthma during their childhood and smoking during pregnancy is known to put the baby at risk as it can lead to premature birth. According to a study conducted by the German university of Münster, a baby’s risk of sudden infant death is eight times higher if one or both parents are smokers.

Can therapy help to quit smoking?

Behavioural therapy and contact with other smokers who are hoping to quit have been proven to be very helpful tools and increase your chances of stopping. You should think about why you would like to stop and be clear about your motivation and the advantages of being a non-smoker.

What withdrawal symptoms can occur?

When you stop smoking, you will experience physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. If you think about situations when you crave a cigarette, you will probably notice a pattern. Knowing which situations trigger your cravings can help you avoid a relapse and develop a personal strategy for not smoking. During the first days of not smoking, ex-smokers tend to be irritable and impatient due to the lack of nicotine.

During the withdrawal period, you may find it difficult to concentrate and have trouble sleeping. Some smokers also experience headaches and minor tremors. Usually, these symptoms significantly reduce within a week of the last cigarette, however, the intensity and duration of these symptoms differ. The desire to smoke outlasts the physical withdrawal period, which is why some smokers relapse after several months of not smoking.

What can I do to minimise withdrawal symptoms?

A nicotine replacement therapy can help avoid cigarettes. At the same time, replacement products continue to support the nicotine addiction, as you continue to ingest the nerve poison. Still, this type of medication can serve a purpose during the first days of not smoking. The dosage is calculated depending on how many cigarettes you used to smoke, and the intake of nicotine is gradually reduced and phased out.

Recent research suggests that the effectiveness of this therapy option has been overestimated in the past. Smokers taking part in a study of the IFT institute for research in Munich were not found to be more likely to quit permanently when using nicotine products.

How does sports help you to quit smoking?

Some smokers find it helpful to be physically active while trying to stop smoking. There is evidence which suggests that sports can not only serve to distract you from your addiction but also effectively reduce the cravings during the withdrawal period.

In a recent study conducted by the university of Exeter, smokers who had not consumed any nicotine for 15 hours reported a reduced desire to smoke after sports compared to physically inactive participants. The exact link between sports and smoking is unknown but experts believe that the release of dopamine during exercise has a positive impact. In addition, sport helps prevent the dreaded weight-gain some smokers experience after giving up.

What is different about Champix?

Champix is a new drug, developed to help smokers on their journey to a smoke-free life. Champix contains the active ingredient Varenicline and is free from nicotine. When you smoke a cigarette, areas of the brain are stimulated by nicotine, which releases dopamine. This leads to a feeling of well-being and relaxation, which smokers enjoy.

Champix occupies these receptors and prevents the intake of nicotine, as well as its effect. At the same time, Varenicline reduces withdrawal symptoms and minimises the cravings. It helps smokers to stop consuming nicotine and makes it easier to stop smoking permanently.

According to a study carried out by the pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer, Champix increases your chances of quitting significantly. 23% of the participants of the study who were taking Champix were still non-smokers 40 weeks after their last cigarette. In comparison, only 9% of participants who were given a placebo had managed not to relapse.

What can ZAVA offer?

If you decide to complete our online assessment, you will need to fill in a short questionnaire. A doctor at ZAVA will use your answers to determine whether Champix is suitable for you and provide a prescription.

The tablets are prescription-only medication and can cause side-effects, such as nausea and depression. It is usually recommended that smokers take Champix when previous attempts to quit smoking have been unsuccessful. Champix is only suitable for individuals over the age of 18.

Is there a cheaper alternative?

Nicotine replacement products are cheaper but also less effective. In the long run, investing in Champix will prove cheaper than sustaining a habit of smoking.

How can I avoid a relapse?

Avoiding situations that you associate with smoking can be helpful. For example, drinking alcohol, being in stressful situations, or being around other people who are smoking can set off cravings to smoke. If you can avoid these situations you are less likely to relapse.

Which smoking cessation treatment is right for me?

Whether Champix or a different therapy is best for you depends on how long you have been smoking and how many cigarettes you smoke in a day. Your age is also relevant, as Champix and many nicotine products are not suitable for teenagers.

Which other options are there to quit smoking?

Every smoker should find his or her own strategy for giving up smoking. In general, self-help groups and stopping smoking with friends have been found to be very helpful. Avoid situations in which you usually smoke and integrate new activities in your daily routine to distract yourself from thinking about having a cigarette. This will help break your habit and previous patterns of behaviour.

Do acupuncture and natural remedies help?

Some smokers find acupuncture and hypnosis helpful, but the usefulness of these methods has not been proven scientifically.

What quit smoking side effects are likely to occur?

When you stop smoking, you will notice some withdrawal symptoms. In addition, most types of medication designed to aid smokers can also cause side effects.

Common side effects when using nicotine replacement tablets or plasters are light-headedness, headaches, dryness of the mouth, hiccups, bloating, and nausea.

Smokers who choose a therapy with Champix often experience headaches, insomnia, unusual dreams, nausea, an increased appetite, being sick, dry mouth, feeling drowsy, tiredness, dizziness, constipation, diarrhoea and stomach pains.

You may notice changes in your sense of taste and feel unusually full after a meal. It is difficult to tell withdrawal symptoms and side effects apart and some of the side effects may be withdrawal symptoms (which can also affect individuals giving up smoking without Champix).

Medically reviewed by:
Dr Kathryn Basford

Dr Kathryn Basford is an IMC and GMC registered GP who works with our Irish team here at ZAVA. She graduated from the University of Manchester and completed her GP training at Whipps Cross Hospital in London.

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Last reviewed: 08 Jan 2021

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