Did you know that smoking is the largest cause of preventable death in the UK?
The 9th of March is National No Smoking Day, and is organised to encourage smokers to quit for good.
Whilst the numbers of smokers have been declining since the 1970s, there were still almost 7 million UK adult smokers in 2019.
Stopping smoking is a huge challenge to millions of Brits. Nicotine addiction is both mental and physical. A 2000 report on nicotine addiction from the Royal College of Physicians concluded that cigarettes “are as addictive as drugs such as heroin or cocaine.”
In July 2019, the UK Government announced the ‘Smokefree 2030’ ambition to try to tackle the problem. The approach focuses on two objectives:
- Discouraging people from starting smoking. This includes targeted anti-smoking behaviour change campaigns, health warning legislation, and reducing the appeal and availability of e-cigarettes to children.
- Supporting smokers to quit. Including regularly referring smokers to stop smoking services
Reasons to stop
If you’re one of the millions of smokers in the UK, the danger to your health is hard to ignore. Smoking is responsible for a long list of serious health problems. It damages almost every organ in the body and causes heart and respiratory disease, lung cancer as well as cancer of the lip, mouth, throat, bladder, kidney, stomach, liver and cervix. Sadly, 2 in 3 smokers will die from smoking-related illness.
A report from the US Surgeon General in 2010 stated that “there is no risk-free level of exposure to tobacco smoke, and there is no safe tobacco product”.
Simply ‘cutting-down’ on the number of tobacco products consumed, does not remove the associated health risks. What’s more, the health risk to others around you is a growing concern. Exposure to second-hand smoke is responsible for increased risk of a range of smoking-related diseases in non-smokers.
Also to consider, is the effect on young children. Research shows that “Children growing up in smoking households are 90% more likely to become smokers themselves”.
Help to stop smoking
The No Smoking Day campaign focus this year is ‘Don’t give up on giving up’. If you’ve tried and not succeeded in quitting smoking before, there is nothing to stop you trying and succeeding this time.
The positive effects on the body after quitting smoking start to take effect just a few hours after your last cigarette, and continue for years afterwards:
- 24 hours after your last cigarette, your lungs will start to clear
- Within 48 hours your body will have expelled the carbon monoxide, and your taste and smell will start to improve.
- After just a few months, your lungs will work better and coughing or wheezing will improve.
- You are 50% less likely to be at risk of a heart attack after 12 months of not smoking.
- After 10 years, your risk of lung cancer will be half that of a smoker
- 15 years after your last cigarette, your risk of heart disease will be almost the same as someone who has never smoked
Support to help smokers quit
If you or someone you know is looking to quit smoking, we’re here to help. You are up to three times more likely to quit if you use a combination of Stop Smoking medication with specialist help and support from your local Stop Smoking Service.
We can help you:
- Find the right product for you and provide guidance on how to use it. There are a wide range of products available including a selection of Nicotine Replacement products (NRT), Champix and Zyban (prescribed medications).
- Receive specialist behavioural support to help tweak habits and behaviours that trigger the desire to smoke.
- Have access to specialist resources and information including “My Quit Route”, a comprehensive app that will allow you to plan and organise your quit attempt, supporting you 24 hours a day.
Nicotine Replacement Products
Nicotine Replacement Therapy or NRT can help with withdrawal symptoms.
Using NRT can roughly double a person’s chances of successfully stopping smoking compared to someone trying to quit unaided. We can help you choose from a range of products including chewing gum, lozenges, patches, inhalers and a nasal sprays.
“My Quit Route” App
The free app has been designed by a team of clinical, health and research psychologists to help you to quit smoking for good.
It is free to download for anyone who works or lives in Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes. Click here to find out more.
Stop Smoking Resources
There are a number of other national services with helpful resources to encourage you to stop smoking.
Remember – it’s never too late to stop smoking. Let us help support you in your journey to becoming smoke-free. Call us on 01234 831 768 to discuss how we can help