Our evidence based programme that uses an initial assessment and support sessions to set you smoke free:
The nursing sister will give an outline of the overall structure of the GoSmokeFree service, the various options that are available and what you can expect as you embark on your new journey.
A Fagerström Nicotine Dependency Test is completed and this will give us an indication of your physical dependence on nicotine which in turn will help predict the severity of withdrawal you will experience when you stop.
This test gives us an accurate measure of the quantity of poisonous carbon monoxide in your blood stream and is another health risk assessment tool. CO takes up space in your blood stream normally reserved to carry oxygen. The higher the level of CO in your blood the less oxygen which means your heart has to beat harder and faster to get essential oxygen to your muscles, brain and organs.
A conversation around your reasons for wanting to quit, your present health risks if you continue to smoke and the benefits if you stop smoking occurs in a no pressure relaxed environment. This helps determine your willingness and ability to quit in terms of physical and psychological dependency. Armed with all the information you can now decide if, when and how you will quit. You are in control of the whole process with support when you need it.
Smoking is a complex combination of behaviours driven by social and psychological factors as well as pharmacological addiction and any attempt to stop smoking has to include behaviour modification. The “bad” habit needs to stop and new healthy habits need to take their place. Without behaviour change therapy it is very easy to slip back into old habits.
Evidence shows that by adding smoking cessation medication to a stop smoking programme an individual’s chances of successfully stopping is increased. From the Fagerström test and a discussion about any previous quit attempts the GoSmokeFree advisor can assist with a decision to use smoking cessation medication and which would be the most appropriate for you. The final decision to use or not to use medicine is always yours.
Are you ready? Are you willing and able? These questions should be easy to answer now that you have learnt how to stop smoking. If you are not ready for whatever reason, you leave the session armed with all the information you need to get you going when the time is right. If the answer is yes to all these questions, you commit to a Quit Date, to abrupt cessation and the “not a puff” rule.
Your Quit Date has been set and you are given your GoSmokeFree diary which details your journey going forward. This diary is a motivational tool which will assist you when you need a confidence boost, or need to remind yourself why you wanted to stop and the benefits of stopping. It lists the withdrawal affects you may experience, what they mean and how you can cope with them.
Your journey has started. You have a clinically proven programme supporting you every step of the way which will maximise you chance of successfully stopping.
Confirm your commitment to the quit date, abrupt cessation and the not a puff rule with an understanding of the science behind these guidelines.
Having identified a suitable day to stop smoking it is important that you prepare for the day. Firstly choose a date that is unlikely to be a highly stressful one. Avoid temptations by making sure that once the last cigarette has been smoked that there are no more cigarettes close by. Pack away ash trays, matches and lighters. Keep yourself busy during the first week and make sure that you have a good support structure in place when you hit challenging times. Take your stop smoking medicine exactly as prescribed and remind yourself why you are quitting.
Attend your weekly GoSmokeFree smoking cessation meetings. They are designed to support, advise and motivate you.
The GoSmokeFree advisor would have taken a CO reading at your first session when you were still smoking. This would have given you a reading of the levels of CO in your blood stream and the associated health risk. Blood levels of carbon monoxide halve every 4 hours so when you stop smoking it rapidly leaves your body reducing the strain on your heart and increasing the available oxygen for your body. It is highly motivating when a new ex-smoker sees these levels dropping at each visit and encourages them to keep off the cigarettes.
Changing behaviours needs reminders and reinforcement. The weekly support sessions develop and establish the new healthy habits.
At the last session when you blow the fourth consecutive non-smokers CO reading you are now officially classified as a 4-week quitter. Congratulations are in order and you receive your Quit Certificate and can now reap the many rewards of being a non-smoker. The healthy benefits, some of which started just 20 minutes after that last cigarette, keep on multiplying for years ahead.
Visit www.gosmokefree.co.za/benefits-of-quitting-smoking/ to remind yourself of the benefits of GoSmokeFree and remember it is never too late to stop smoking.