Around one in four Swiss aged 15 and over smokes: 18 per cent on a daily basis, and 7 percent on occasion. In 2015, daily smokers in Switzerland consumed an average of 13.4 cigarettes a day. According to Addiction Monitoring in Switzerland, tobacco consumption remains the most important avoidable cause of death in this country. Figures from Swiss Statistics show that in 2012 almost one in seven fatalities (that’s around 9,500 deaths) could be ascribed to tobacco consumption. The main cause of death is lung cancer. Smokers also have an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease, COPD and even infertility. Not only this, but women who smoke have miscarriages more frequently.
Tips for quitting smoking
Your body and your health will benefit in every case if you stop smoking – even if you have been smoking for a long time. The following tips can make it easier to quit:
- Set a date: Make the decision to quit and set a fixed date on which you will become a non-smoker.
- Get rid of smoking utensils: On the date you’ve decided on, get rid of all the smoking utensils in your vicinity (cigarettes, lighters, ashtrays).
- Arrange for support: Inform those around you and look for someone who will help you to quit smoking. The more people know about your plans to quit, the more motivated you will be to kick the habit. Keep your distance from those who encourage you to keep smoking.
- Study your smoking habits: Become more aware of your individual smoking habits. When and why do you smoke? What is your mood at those times? What places do you frequent when you smoke? Are you with others or alone? These questions will help you to avoid risky situations in future or come up with an alternative.
- Change your habits: Think of other ways of handling the situations you’ve identified as risky. Drink something or read instead of starting to smoke again. Give your mouth and hands something to do, such as chewing gum, eating candy, or texting.
- Avoid temptations: After you’ve quit smoking, avoid spending long periods in places where the temptation to smoke is particularly strong.
- Treat yourself: At the beginning, give yourself a daily reward for having reached the goal of not smoking. For each smoke-free day, you can put away the money you would have spent on cigarettes. You will be amazed how quickly a sizeable amount accumulates, which you can then use to buy yourself a reward for sticking with your decision.
- Avoid relapses: A relapse isn’t a catastrophe, but part of the learning process. Be happy with what you achieved so far, and start with the next attempt to quit.
- Ask for help: If necessary, ask for help from an expert or doctor. SWICA will support your efforts to quit smoking with generous contributions from COMPLETA PRAEVENTA and OPTIMA. Pharmacies also have a large selection of aids such as nicotine patches and gum that can help you stop smoking.