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Receive your Pfizer brand medication today at little to no additional drug acquisition cost versus the generic version.

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Participating Pfizer brands include:

Smoking cessation

Why is it so hard to quit smoking?

Approximately 4.7 million people in Canada smoke. Almost two-thirds of them consider quitting in the next six months; 30% in the next month. In the past year, half have tried to quit; 1/3 of them have tried more than once.

But there’s good news too: 60% of Canadians who have ever smoked, have quit. That’s encouraging if you want to quit too.

Why is quitting so hard? Because smoking is more than a habit — it’s an addiction to nicotine. Nicotine binds to receptors in the brain and causes chemical reactions that affect how a person feels and acts. One of these chemical reactions is the release of dopamine, which is associated with creating feelings of pleasure and reinforcing reward-seeking behaviour. Dopamine is released naturally during experiences such as eating food or sexual activity, but when you smoke, nicotine increases the release of dopamine, which is associated with a feeling of pleasure.

When a smoker stops smoking, the amount of nicotine in their body drops and they experience nicotine withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms include depressed mood, craving, irritability, frustration or anger, anxiety and difficulty concentrating.

Dealing with withdrawal symptoms of quitting smoking

Nicotine withdrawal symptoms are a common main reason why most smokers fail to quit. However, these symptoms are temporary and can be managed by taking positive actions when they occur.

Symptom

Ways to manage it

Increased appetite

Craving for nicotine

  • Drink a glass of water
  • Eat a healthy snack
  • Suck on a candy or chew on gum
  • Distract oneself until it passes
  • Take a walk
  • Avoid smoking triggers

Depression

  • Use positive self-talk — Encourage yourself by saying, “I am doing a great job.” or “Look how far I have made it.”
  • Speak to friends or family

Poor concentration 

Irritability

Sleep disturbance

Lightheadedness/dizziness

  • Sit or lie down until it passes

Remember that there are many benefits to quitting smoking. Sometimes, keeping those in mind may help.

Want more information and support? Search “smoking” in Find Support for organizations in your area.

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