• Dr Houda Ounnas

Top 10 smoking cessation tips for city girls

Updated: Jun 6


This is a post for sexy city girls who do not wish to ruin their health, their looks and their motherhood potential with tobacco. The 31st of May is the World No Tobacco day, why not use it as an opportunity to stop smoking! Here I am going to give you 10 tips on how!


With the recent COVID 19 pandemic, there has never been a more motivating time to preserve our lungs capacity. After all you will need your lungs if you were to get the horrible disease! Not only that, but the benefits of quitting Tobacco have been talked about excessively. We should all know by now, that it contributes to bad ageing, heart disease, bad skin, lung disease as well as many other adverse health effects. Did you know about the latest research evidence on its effects on early menopause and ageing ovaries as well?

There's a long, running debate about whether it's more difficult for women or men to quit smoking. Regardless of the answer, one thing's for sure. Everyone can give up tobacco if they find the right approach. As you may know, I am passionate about womens’ health, especially city girls, aka girls who live and work in the city. It is bad enough we are exposed to the pollution around us, we do not need further smoke! I often write that I am amused how womens’ health is often synonymous with gyneacology. Women experience a few medical issues differently from men. These can vary from migraines to mental health to metabolic diseases. On the World No Tobacco Day, here are some considerations that are especially helpful for women.

1. Explore behavior-based approaches: The entire ritual of smoking is important to some women. Strategies like deep breathing and learning to deal with triggers, such as that morning cup of coffee that goes hand in hand with smoking a cigarette, can help women to persevere.

2. Find other ways to deal with stress: It's natural to reach for a cigarette when you feel tense. Form new habits like meditation or getting a massage.

3. Think of the consequences on the ageing process, both your skin and your fertility: Smoking is associated with increased follicle-stimulating hormone levels and early menopause. Active smoking is associated with decreased AMH values (the hormone reflecting your egg reserve) in late-reproductive-age and perimenopausal women, suggesting a possible direct effect of smoking on ovarian reserve depletion. You can read more on this and see several studies conclusions on here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2866786/

4. Consider professional help: Support is particularly important, which is why the NHS for example, would not prescribe you Nicotine patches unless you subscribe and make commitments to attending the stopping smoking clinics. The reason being that research has shown that patients who have the support and coaching from the nurse or doctor in those clinics are twice as likely to quit smoking than those trying alone.

5. Peer support: Join a traditional support group or get connected on social media: Women are more likely to understand the value of social support. Ask your insurance provider or local hospital if they can recommend a group you can join. You can also find support on the Internet. Join an existing self-help group or start your own. Text each other words of encouragement.

6. Consider non-nicotine medications: Many women find nicotine replacement devices helpful, but there are more options if you need them. Your doctor can tell you about a variety of drugs, which have also been found to making quitting tobacco easier. Some of these drugs might not be suitable for some patients with certain mental health disorders or taking other medications, hence the need for a bespoke personalised consultation that takes into account your current and past medical history and drug history.

7. Avoid the patch if you're pregnant: The British National Formulary BNF advises the following “The use of nicotine replacement therapy in pregnancy is preferable to the continuation of smoking but should be used only if smoking cessation without nicotine replacement fails. Intermittent therapy is preferable to patches but avoid liquorice-flavoured nicotine products. Patches are useful, however, if the patient is experiencing pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting. If patches are used, they should be removed before bed.

8. Be careful if you are breast feeding: Nicotine is present in milk; however, the amount to which the infant is exposed is small and less hazardous than second-hand smoke. Intermittent therapy is preferred. In other words, it’s best for your baby if you could stop smoking without any medications including patches. However, the use of Nicotine replacement therapy is second best and is still better than exposing your baby to passive smoking.

9. Learn about nicotine receptors: Female smokers appear to have fewer nicotine receptors in their brain than male smokers. This suggests that giving up smoking for women is more complicated than just replacing nicotine.

10. Use alternatives to nicotine replacement: Fortunately, there are many smoking cessation techniques that address more factors than nicotine alone. Consult your doctor to find out about your options.

Quitting smoking is often the single most important thing you can do to improve your health. It’s a gift, your heart, lungs and skin will thank you for later. Experiment with the best approaches for women and talk with your doctor if you need more help.


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