By Candy Lashkari
An addiction is an addiction and it may be tougher to quit smoking cigarettes compared to beating a heroin addiction. An Australian study found that many long term smokers have tried to quit 7.4 times but are still unable to do so. Sydney GP Raymond Seidler actually feels that people do not realize that quitting smoking is just as bad as kicking heroin out of your life.
"What smokers don't realise is that nicotine addiction is as powerful, or even more powerful, than heroin addiction," he said. " The (brain's) receptors for smoking are as strongly attached to nicotine as the heroine receptor is to opiates. That can come as a shock to a lot of people. Quitting is therefore a serious challenge for most." said Dr Seidler.
A recent survey commissioned by Pfizer Australia, a pharmaceutical company, had responses from over 2,000 smokers which revealed that smokers are much more likely to find chores to do rather than approach a health care professional to help them kick the butt. Amongst the respondents 35% would rather clean the house, 27% would rather pay the bills, 22% would rather go to work on the weekend and 18% would rather go to dinner with the in-laws to avoid visiting a health care professional.
"We need to address the issues of why people are reluctant to go to a professional to get help, because we know that GPs and pharmacists have an important role to play in supporting patients who want to quit smoking," said Dr Seidler.