Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Quitting is a question of willpower, says doctor - the Star

The Star
Wednesday September 10, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM                

IT IS possible to quit smoking but it boils down to determination and motivation. Perak Chest Society president Dr Leong Oon Keong said the first thing one had to decide was whether or not he or she wanted to quit.

“If a person has a disease, they will quit very fast. Unless that is so, a person needs motivation because nicotine addiction is very difficult to overcome,” he told The Star.

Dr Leong, a chest physician, said more often than not, people gave excuses for not quitting and felt they knew everything there was to know about smoking.  “Information about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer is readily available on the Internet.  There are also support groups at government hospitals to help those wanting to quit smoking.  And yet, people still continue to smoke cigarettes as they find it very pleasurable,” he said.

Tobacco smoke, said Dr Leong, had caused untold misery to many people.  “It is the cause of many types of cancers ranging from lung cancer, mouth cancer, pancreatic cancer to bladder cancer. Tobacco smoke also causes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart attacks and strokes, which are main causes of morbidity and mortality in Malaysia,” he said.

According to him, smokers usually found it difficult to stop smoking on their own.  The chances of relapsing, he said, were very high if one tried to go cold turkey.  “They would usually require assistance to help them abstain from smoking and in preventing a relapse.  There are nicotine replacement therapies including patches and oral therapy such as gum, which for a three-month programme would not cost more than smoking a pack of cigarettes a day for five months.
These days, patients are also allowed several attempts to quit as well as the option of reducing the number of cigarettes they smoked in a day,” he said.

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