English for PTA


To quit smoking is always in the top ten of New Year’s resolutions. Sad, but true: A lot of people give up after the three-day limit and start craving their ciggies again. Why is it so hard to quit?

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Seite 1/1 3 Minuten

Nicotine is both a stimulant and a sedative. Among a whole list of biochemicals that are released directly or indirectly on exposure to nicotine, the neurotransmitter dopamine is one of the most important. Dopamine is released indirectly in regions of the brain that control pleasure and motivation.

Pharmacy customer: Hello, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to stop smoking.
PTA: Hello. That’s exactly what I did last year at this time!

Really? And how did you manage, if you don’t mind me asking?

To be honest? The first three days were terrible! I was irritable, had trouble sleeping, couldn’t concentrate and I was thinking about cigarettes all the time! But, do you know what I did? I sat down and made a list of the benefits of not smoking.

Which are?
One of the most important ones is, that it helps you to breathe more easily. Not directly as such, but after a short time you’ll find that it’s much easier to take the stairsthan it was before. After about the first week I noticed that my senses of smell and taste were much better!

Taking the stair sounds good. But isn’t there a danger of putting on too much weight with the improved senses?
Not really! A lot of smokers do tend to put on weight after quitting, but that’s because they choose unhealthy alternatives to keep their taste buds busy! That is, instead of smoking, they are eating things like chocolate and savoury foods to replace the craving for nicotine.

That’s exactly why I’m here! Do you have nicotine patches or something like that?
Do you mind if I recommend what was most effective for me?

No, please go ahead.
Nicotine chewing gum.

What is the difference between that and normal chewing gum?
This contains a small dose of nicotine. The idea is to have a slow withdrawal instead of a sudden stop so that the craving is satisfied but the dosage is slowly decreased and eventually stopped altogether.

Do I just chew it like normal chewing gum?
No, you should chew it slowly until you get a tingling sensation or “peppery” taste in your mouth. Then you can place the gum in your cheek until the tingling ends. Then you start the whole process again until the sensation returns again and then the gum is “re-parked” in another part of your mouth.

Don’t I get too much nicotine this way?
Not if you compare it to a normal cigarette. The nicotine in cigarettes can range from 6mg to 24 mg, depending on the type. If you chew this gum as instructed, you will get about 2mg from the larger dosage and 1 mg from the smaller dosage.

How many can I take per day?
The maximum recommended dosage is 24 pieces per day. Believe me: it’s very hard to reach that amount!

You have been very helpful. Thank you very much.
You are welcome. Here they are. Good luck for your resolution.

Den Artikel finden Sie auch in die PTA IN DER APOTHEKE 01/17 auf Seite 56.

Catherine Croghan, Lecturer in English and native speaker