Stop smoking: techniques and tips

It takes practice and time to quit smoking. The benefits of stopping smoking are worth the effort. Different strategies work better for different people. Discover the different solutions and tips to quit smoking.

Smoking cessation medications

Medications used to support the quitting process include nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), which is designed to help ease withdrawal symptoms and cravings. NRT contains nicotine without the other harmful chemicals found in tobacco. NRT is available over the counter at the pharmacy, and different forms of NRT include chewing pieces (gum), the nicotine patch, inhaler, lozenges, and mouth sprays. Other medications used in smoking cessation include bupropion and varenicline. Research shows that when used as directed, and combined with support groups or counselling, these medications can increase your chance of success. Speak to your doctor about which medications may be appropriate for you.

Support groups and counselling

Group programs usually involve meeting small groups of people who are all trying to quit smoking. Group support programs can increase your chances of success and keep you motivated to stay on track. Contact your local public health department to locate any smoking cessation groups active in your community.

There are other great ways to find support, including quit lines, online forums, interactive websites, smartphone apps and text message services. Individual counselling programs can range from brief advice and counselling offered by a health care professional to intensive counselling available through specialty clinics. Talk to your doctor about whether individual counselling is an appropriate option for you.

Tips to quit smoking

Quitting smoking may be hard, but it can be done! Here are some tips to help you quit:

  • Develop an action plan to improve your chances of quitting. Writing the plan down will help you think more carefully about what you need to do and how you will approach it.

    Try the following:
    – Pick a day as your “quit date,” which is the day you intend to stop smoking. Write this date down.
    – Make a list of the important benefits of quitting and read it over before and after you quit. Use this list while you are trying to quit to remind yourself of your reasons for quitting.
    – List the situations in which you smoke and the reasons why you smoke – this will help you identify what “triggers” you to light up.
    – List fun and healthy activities to replace smoking, and be ready to do these when you feel the urge to smoke.

  • Avoid smoking triggers. Starting with your quit date, try to remove or avoid your smoking triggers. For example, if you associate coffee with smoking, try drinking tea or water instead. If you usually smoke at parties, find other ways to socialize with friends until you feel comfortable and confident about facing these situations.
  • Don’t carry matches, a lighter, or cigarettes.
  • Each day, delay lighting your first cigarette by one hour. After the first cigarette, when you have your next craving to smoke, delay for another 15 minutes or half an hour. By delaying each cigarette, you take control.
  • Familiarize yourself with possible withdrawal symptoms and how you plan to handle them.
  • Get moving! Exercise is a great way to relax and feel good; use exercise rather than smoking to deal with stress. As you exercise, with each deep breath you take, you can start to repair some of the damage done to your body from smoking.
  • Build your own support network. Enlist the help of a close friend or family member, your doctor, someone you know and respect who has recently quit, or someone who wants to quit smoking with you.

See a doctor to quit smoking

Your family doctor is the best person to support you in your withdrawal. Unlike support groups, he has the advantage of knowing your current state of health and your medical history. He can advise you with the appropriate strategies, prescribe the first treatments and refer you to specialists if necessary. Don’t hesitate to consult a doctor to learn more!

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Need a doctor? ELNA Medical’s family medicine services facilitate access to comprehensive, preventive health care at every stage of your life.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2023. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source:

Seasonal allergies: how to prevent asthma in children?

Millions of Canadians, especially kids, suffer from seasonal allergies and asthma. When their immune system identifies a normally harmless material as a threat, it can set off symptoms like sniffles, sneezes, rashes, or breathing problems.

With the right precautions, you can allow your children to keep enjoying the great outdoors and limit the risk of asthma attacks.

What are seasonal allergies?

When trees and grasses begin growing in the spring and early summer, they release light, powdery pollen that floats in the wind. If you’re allergic to this pollen, it can result in sniffling, sneezing, wheezing, a runny nose, and itchy and watery eyes. For some people with asthma, pollen can also trigger an asthma attack.

How to enjoy the great outdoors without allergies symptoms?

Here are a few tips to help your children enjoy outdoors without allergies symptoms:

    • Keep windows closed so pollen can’t drift in. Air conditioning will keep you more comfortable in hot, humid weather. But don’t forget that air conditioners also create the best conditions (damp and dark) for mould to grow in your home. Do some spring-cleaning, and do it regularly.
    • If possible, let your child inside when pollen counts are high (watch for these in weather reports) and on windy days when pollen and spores can get blown around. Avoid being outdoors in the early morning hours (between 5 am and 10 am), when pollen counts are usually highest.
    • If your child has been outside all day, remove all its clothing and put it aside to be laundered, and take a shower after coming home. This will prevent your kid from taking all that pollen to bed.
    • Don’t hang your laundry outside to dry – it can trap pollen and mould, bringing them inside. Use your dryer instead.

An effective control of allergies may lead to better control of asthma. Unfortunately, asthma attacks cannot always be prevented.

How to control asthma symptoms?

Experts know that allergies and asthma are related. In fact, children with allergies often have asthma and a skin condition known as atopic dermatitis (eczema) as well.

Seeing your child have an asthma attack can be worrisome and very frightening, and can make you feel unsure of what to do the next time an attack occurs. Your child’s doctor and pharmacist will recommend the right medication(s), doses and delivery devices for your child to treat an asthma attack. These can come in such forms as aerosol inhaler, turbuhaler, or diskus.

What to do in case of an asthma attack due to seasonal allergies?

If your child has an asthma attack, here’s what to do:

    • Act calm and confident and speak to the child reassuringly.
    • Give the asthma-reliever medications at the very start of an attack, as directed by your doctor.
    • Try to determine what triggered the attack, and then remove it (or the child) from the area.
    • Follow the action plan designed with your pediatric allergist. The goal of the action plan is to have no asthma symptoms at all (i.e., no wheezing, coughing, or shortness of breath).  If your child uses a peak flow meter, take a measurement to use with the action plan.
    • If the attack is under control, you can relax. If it isn’t, follow the action plan– you may need to call the doctor or get immediate medical attention.

You can be your child’s most important ally in controlling asthma. Inform teachers, principals, school nurses, coaches, and babysitters of the asthma, what triggers it, and what should be done during an attack. As kids get older, you can teach them to manage their asthma themselves. And if you’re a smoker, try to quit, or at least don’t smoke in the house – smoke aggravates asthma symptoms.

Get health advice from a pediatric allergist

The best option to manage your child with seasonal allergies and asthma symptoms, is to talk to your pediatric allergist. There are eye drops, nasal sprays, oral antihistamines and anti-allergy medications, sinus rinses, and even allergy shots that can be helpful in treating specific allergies. Many treatments are available without a prescription, but others will need a prescription from your doctor. He will also learn you how to give the medications properly and conceive an “action plan” in case of asthma attack.

Do you have questions about seasonal allergies and asthma affecting your child? Book an appointment with our pediatric allergists in Montreal.

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The ELNA Medical Group offers a wide range of specialty medical services, including pediatric allergy consultations. Our clinics offer allergy skin testing to determine what your children are allergic to, and how severe the allergy is. Based on the outcome of this testing, we recommend an allergy treatment plan that may include medication, desensitization through allergy serums or immunotherapy. Stop suffering and ask your family physician for a referral for a consultation with one of our allergists and immunologists today.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2023. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: 

Which contraceptive should you use?

Contraceptives will only prevent unwanted pregnancies if they’re used properly and consistently. If you’re relying on a method that you often forget to use, that has unwanted side effects, or that is difficult or bothersome to use, you’re likely to stop using it or not to use it all the time. That’s why it’s important to use a method of birth control that suits you and your lifestyle.

When you’re thinking about what kind of contraceptive to use, make sure to consider all the details. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • Which will work best with my schedule and habits?
  • Are there extra health benefits?
  • Which have possible unwanted effects or features?
  • Am I protected against sexually transmitted diseases?
  • Which kind is the most appropriate for my current state of health or medical history?
  • How effective is it?

Barrier options

There are several kinds of birth control that work by keeping the sperm from reaching the egg. These normally have to be applied or inserted just before intercourse and removed afterwards. They include:

  • diaphragms
  • cervical caps
  • vaginal sponges
  • male condoms
  • female condoms

Most of these come in several varieties, and it may be necessary to try a few of any given kind before you find one that has the right fit and sensation. Each has advantages and disadvantages. For example, condoms are the only type of birth control that also offer reliable protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Whichever barrier option of birth control you choose to try, make sure that you are familiar and confident on its proper insertion and use. Your doctor and pharmacist are excellent educational resources for this sort of information.

Be aware that using oil-based products like lubricants, or other products like powders or perfumes may decrease the barrier method’s effectiveness or cause irritation. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any concerns.


Perhaps the best-known method of birth control is “the pill.” These pills are taken once a day. There are many different kinds of birth control pills available. Some use a single hormone and some use a combination; some have lower doses and some have higher doses of estrogen; some have a 28-day cycle of pills and some have 21 or 84 pills; and some have a 7-day period without pills, and others can have less. Talk to your doctor about which would be best for you. You may need to try a few before you find one you feel perfectly comfortable with.

Long-term options

There are forms of birth control that last a long time and only need to be changed very infrequently. If you have a hard time remembering to take a birth control pill every day or if you’re not planning on starting a family in the near future, these birth control options may suit you better:


  • contraceptive patch (changed weekly)
  • hormonal injection or implants (received once every 3 months)
  • vaginal ring (used every 4 weeks)
  • progestin-releasing intrauterine systems (changed once every 5 years)
  • progestin-releasing implant (changed once every 3 years)


  • copper intrauterine devices (lasts 30 months to 10 years)


For people who have no intention of having children in the future, surgery can be a viable option.

For men, the usual operation is a vasectomy. This operation involves cutting or blocking the tube that carries sperm from the testes to the penis. It can now be done in a very short time using local anaesthetic and requiring only a small puncture in the skin, with no stitches needed.

For women, the usual surgery is a tubal ligation: the fallopian tubes are cut, sealed, tied, or blocked, making a permanent barrier between sperm and egg. This is usually done via laparoscopy, using a small incision; the woman can normally go home the same day, but it is a more complicated operation than a vasectomy. Both of these methods are designed to be permanent, but an operation called reanastomosis that unblocks or reconnects the tube(s) can restore fertility in roughly half of all cases.

Other Methods of birth control

Other, “natural” forms of birth control include the use of withdrawal, calendar tracking, basal body temperature and cervical mucus. It’s important to discuss with your doctor which method is most appropriate for you. Depending on your individual circumstance, you may need more than 1 method.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2023. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source:

Did you know that many medical services, as introduction to contraception, can be provided by our nurses, without having to go through a doctor? We’re here for you when you need us most. Book an appointment a nurse at a clinic nearest you.

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Heart attack: Know the symptoms

The key to surviving a heart attack is getting medical help early – nearly half of all deaths due to heart attack occur within 2 hours of the beginning of symptoms.

Keep in mind that not everyone experiences the same heart attack symptoms to the same degree – some older people and women can experience less obvious symptoms. Some heart attacks come on suddenly, but the vast majority start with mild chest pain and discomfort. Some people experiencing a heart attack are not sure they are having one and may think it’s only heartburn or indigestion. This may result in not seeking medical attention promptly.

Therefore, it’s critical to be familiar with and recognize heart attack symptoms, and to take them seriously.

The following are heart attack warning symptoms:

  • pain or discomfort in the chest, shoulder, arm, back, neck, or jaw that does not go away with rest (in women, discomfort is more common than pain)
  • pressure, heaviness, fullness, burning, or squeezing in the chest
  • shortness of breath
  • nausea and/or vomiting
  • sweating, or cool and clammy skin
  • anxiety or fear
  • light-headedness or sudden dizziness

Women are more likely to feel some discomfort in the chest rather than a sharp pain or tightness. The milder symptoms do not mean that a woman’s heart attack is any less severe than a man’s on.Any symptoms of a heart attack should be taken seriously.- Government of Canada

If you experience these warning symptoms, the Heart and Stroke Foundation suggests doing the following things:

  • Call 9-1-1.
  • Stop all activity and rest (sit or lie down).
  • If you are taking nitroglycerin, take your usual dose.
  • If the 9-1-1 operator advises it, and you are not allergic to ASA, chew and swallow one 325 mg ASA tablet or two 81 mg tablets.
  • Rest and wait for Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
  • Keep a list of the medications that you take on the fridge and in your wallet. EMS will want this information during your care.

Acting promptly may save your life!

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2023. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source:

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