New Year’s Resolution

According to a recent online survey, 80% of all New Year’s resolutions are broken before March. Whether your resolution is quitting smoking, cutting back on alcohol or budging the bulge, we often abandon them to soon after starting as it is something we have tried and either gave up, or failed previously.

We look at the New Year as a fresh start and a chance to change something we have been unhappy with in the previous year(s) or we have set new goals for ourselves.

With the help of these aids and tips you can ensure this will be the year to give up or get fit for good.


Quitting smoking can be a stressful time. Even though your will power is strong the cravings can be stronger. Also putting pressure on yourself to succeed and abstain from smoking can in turn make you crave a nicotine hit. Many people try going ‘Cold turkey’; quitting immediately without any treatment or assistance can make for intense withdrawal symptoms, (depending on the frequency of nicotine intake and how long you’ve smoked will impact the severity) such as:-

Cramping, nausea
Irritability, anxiety
Difficulty concentrating, headaches
Weight gain

While this method may have worked for a small few it is not recommended for the ‘heavier’ smoker e.g. more than 10 cigarettes per day.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) is a product that releases nicotine into the body without exposing it to the other harmful chemicals that come with smoking. Using NRT is an effective way to diminish the uncomfortable cravings that quitting smoking brings and to live a healthier lifestyle.

Good combinations to try would be the Nicorette Patches along with the Nicorette Gum or the Nicorette Inhaler with the Nicorette Lozenges. Depending on how much you smoke you can choose different mg of nicotine and studies show using Nicotine Replacement Therapies can increase your chances of quitting by more than double if you were to cut down on your own.

To give you the best chance of quitting, quit for personal reasons, reasons that are important to you and something that will potentially deter you from the urge to smoke. If you are worried about the impact quitting smoking it will have on you, speak to your GP or healthcare professional and they can offer advice on methods and/or groups you can attend for support. Remember to not be discouraged if you give in to smoking.

Think about the reason for the relapse and work towards avoiding it, set yourself a new ‘quit date’ and start again. After all, quitting smoking is important to you and can be that first step towards a healthier lifestyle.

Weight Loss

According to a poll taken in 2015, the most popular resolution chosen was to lose weight and I think most of us can agree that losing weight or becoming generally fitter and healthier has been on our tick list at one point. Studies have shown that at least 85% of people fail using conventional weight loss methods although, there are some products available to purchase over the counter, from your Pharmacy or on prescription that can aid weight loss along with clean eating and exercise.

A popular aid for slimming is Alli that is available over the counter in Pharmacies (active ingredient is Orlistat, which is available on prescription from our online Doctor).

Alli works by preventing around a quarter of dietary fat being absorbed by the body. Dietary fat is high in calories therefore, not being processed by the body will result in weight loss. However, these have been known to occasionally cause side effects so please read the patient information leaflet and always consult with your GP, Pharmacist or healthcare professional before taking any new medications.

There are herbal remedies to aid with weight loss such as Adios or XLS Medical Tablets which help speed up weight loss by acting on the body’s food stores and are then converted into energy, resulting in a loss of calories, and consequently, a loss in weight.

Other than eating healthy, exercising regularly and taking slimming aids remember, that will power is paramount. Other tips for success include:

Don’t buy junk food, yet don’t abstain from the foods you enjoy as this can lead to cravings. Everything in moderation!
Inform your friends and family about your goals so that they can encourage you and praise you.
Know what you’re eating. Check food labels and work them out around your diet.
Don’t give up! We all fall off the wagon sometimes but it is a lot easier to jump straight back on than abandon your diet and start all over again.

Cutting Back or Quitting Alcohol

After the party season has ended we tend to feel a little groggy. Cutting down on drinking alcohol or quitting altogether may be your resolution. There are many benefits to doing so such as saving money, losing weight or getting involved in Dry January who work with six national charities that work closely with issues relating to alcohol, this can also give you the incentive and achievement to cut down or give up alcohol for the foreseeable.

A survey taken by participants of Dry January showed that 49% lost weight, 62% had more energy and improved sleep and 79% of people saved money.

Pharmacy First encourage our customers to stick to the new lifestyle they wish to lead in 2018, and remember we are here to help with any products that might assist you along the way.