GIVING up cigarettes is one of the toughest tests many people will ever face but there are plenty to methods that can be used to make the process both easier and more bearable.
Most chemists stock a wide variety of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) products which can dramatically increase a person's chances of successfully quitting cigarettes.
Mike Ryle of Ryle and DeLacy who operate chemist shops at Ashe Street and Fairies Cross in Tralee says there are plenty of NRT options, to suit all budgets, which can take some of the stress out of quitting.
These range from patches and chewing gums to inhalers, lozenges and microtabs which help ease the physical cravings experienced by those trying to give up.
"The use of nicotine replacement therapy doubles a persons chances of giving up smoking. When someone gives up smoking their body will physically crave the nicotine it's been used to having. NRT is designed to relieve that craving and the withdrawal symptoms associated with stopping," said Mr Ryle.
"There's a whole range of NRT products available and the good news is that all of the products are available on the medical card. A lot of people are worried that the treatments are more expensive than smoking so they try to go the cold turkey route which often isn't as successful. Most people have medical cards now so getting NRT products is easily affordable," he said.
"The inhalers and mock cigarettes are getting very popular and they're effective, especially when it comes to meeting a short term craving or the habit of holding a cigarette. Most of them don't taste too bad despite what people think, the companies have tried to make them as pleasant as possible and they're certainly no worse than actually inhaling a cigarette," he said.