Today is No Smoking Day - an annual health campaign which is intended to help smokers who want to quit smoking and to raise awareness about the health dangers associated with smoking.
We have prepared some tips, guidance and information on where to find support for anyone who wants to overcome their nicotine addiction. Have a look at our booklet below and start your quitting journey now:
SMOKING STOP And start a better lifeAccording to the NHS around 78,000 people in the UK die from smoking every year.Tobacco smoke apart from nicotine, which is highly addictive, contains other poisonous chemicals, such as hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide and
ammonia. The toxins in cigarettes affect your whole body not only while you’re smoking, but also after the cigarette is finished. Moreover, when you are having a cigarette, most of the smoke doesn't go into your lungs, but it goes into the air around you where anyone nearby can breathe it in. It’s important to know that passive smoking can be as dangerous as actively doing so. Smoking increases your risk of developing more than 50 serious health conditions. Some of them may be fatal, and others can have a detrimental effect on your health. The chemicals in cigarettes can cause cancer in various parts of your body including lungs, throat, mouth, and many others. Smoking can also increase your risk of developing health conditions, such as heart attack, coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease or stroke. Moreover, the damage to your lungs from smoking, can lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)and pneumonia. It can also worsen or prolong the symptoms of respiratory conditions such as asthma, or respiratory tract infections like the common cold.
Furthermore, smoking can reduce the fertility of both men and women. WHY IS SMOKING HARMFUL?After 20 minutes Your pulse rate will already be starting to return to normal. Stopping smoking is one of the best things you can ever do for your health. The sooner you quit, the sooner you'll notice changes to your body. Have a look at what happens when you stop smoking: WHY IS IT GOOD TO QUIT SMOKING? After 8 hours Your oxygen levels are recovering, and the harmful carbon monoxide level in your blood will have reduced by half. After 48 hours All carbon monoxide is flushed out and our lungs are clearing out mucus. Your sense of smell and taste is improving. After 72 hours Your bronchial tubes have started to relax and breathing feels easier. Also, your energy levels start increasing. After 2 to 12 weeks Your circulation will have improved and blood will be pumping through to your heart and muscles more efficiently. After 3 to 9 months Any breathing problems will be improving, as your lung function increases by up to 10%. After 1 year Your risk of heart attack will have halved compared with a smoker's. After 10 years Your risk of dying from lung cancer will have halved compared with a smoker's.We know that quitting can be very difficult, as nicotine is addictive and smoking can be a part of your well-established routine, which is hard to break.
Here are some of our tips that can help you succeed: Set a date The act of choosing a date will help you to mentally prepare yourself to stop smoking and focus on your goal. Many ex-smokers can tell you the exact day and time they had their last cigarette, because it was such a significant step for them, and an achievement they are incredibly proud of. Make a plan Before your quit date, throw away all your cigarettes before you start. Also, get rid of ashtrays, lighters and matches, and anything else that reminds you of cigarettes. Moreover, practice saying “no” when someone is offering you a cigarette - don’t be tempted by just one cigarette, as it often leads to another. TIPS FOR QUITTING SMOKINGList your reasons to stop smoking Make a list of all the reasons you want to become smoke free. When you will feel the urge to smoke, take a look at the list to remind yourself why you want to quit. Reasons for quitting could include: - Your overall health will improve and the risk of lung cancer, heart attack, stroke and other diseases will decrease - You will save money that could be spent on something that you enjoy. Use the quit calculator tool to see how much you have spent on the cigarettes so far. - Your sense of smell and taste will improve - Your breath will smell better - Your complexion will improve and you will avoid premature wrinkles - You will set a better example to your children and make it less likely that they start smoking themselves in the future - You will protect your family and friends from the dangers of second-hand smoke Tell others that you're quitting Let your family, friends and colleagues know that you want to quit smoking and tell them you need their support and encouragement to stop. Getting support from the important people in your life can make a big difference when you quit smoking. Stay positive You might have tried to quit smoking before and haven’t been successful, but don't let that put you off. Look back at the things your experience has taught you and think about how you're really going to do it this time.List your smoking triggers and try to avoid them One of the useful things you can do to help yourself quit is to identify the things that make you want to smoke, including specific situations, activities, feelings, as well as people. Are you smoking after having some alcohol? Try switching to non-alcoholic drinks or drink only in places where smoking is prohibited. Are your friends or family smokers as well? Ask them not to smoke while you are around. Use stop smoking aids Different treatments are available to help you battle your addiction and reduce withdrawal symptoms. Speak to your GP or contact NHS stop smoking adviser to get an advice what options would be the most suitable for you. Build a support network Pair up with someone else who’s looking to give up smoking and support each other. You can also connect with others and grow your support network through NHS’s Smokefree Quit Smoking Support GroupManage cigarette
cravings by keeping busy This is all about distraction. Find something you enjoy doing so it can take your mind off from cigarettes. You could work a crossword puzzle, read a book, take a dog for a walk, play boardgames with family, write a poem, do some painting, etc. There’s plenty to choose from! Stay physically active Many of the studies suggest that vigorous exercise can reduce the cravings for nicotine. Exercising will also help you to cope with stress and have more energy. You could start running, swimming, playing football, training martial arts, or even doing vigorous exercises at home, such as HIIT Workout You may also find helpful the video from World Health Organisation, in which Dr Dongbo Fu gives some useful tips and explains why it is difficult for some people to quit smoking. Are you curious how other smokers have managed to quit smoking? Watch Brian’s journey and listen to Donna’s storyVarious treatments are available from shops, pharmacies and on prescription to help you combat your addiction and reduce withdrawal symptoms. The best treatment for you will depend on your personal preference, your age, and any medical conditions you may have. Your GP or an NHS stop smoking adviser will be able to provide you with an advice. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) NRT is a medication that provides you with a low level of nicotine, without the tar, carbon monoxide and other harmful chemicals that are present in tobacco smoke. It can help relieve some of the physical withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings, which may occur when you stop smoking. NRT is available as skin patches , chewing gum,
inhalators (which look like plastic cigarettes) tablets, oral strips and lozenges, as well as nasal and mouth spray. Treatment with NRT usually lasts 8-12 weeks, before you gradually reduce the dose and eventually stop. Always read the packet or leaflet before using NRT to check whether it's suitable for you. STOP SMOKING AIDSVarenicline (Champix) Varenicline (brand name Champix) is a medicine that works in two ways. It not only reduces cravings for nicotine, but it also blocks the rewarding and reinforcing effects of smoking. Varenicline is only available on prescription, so you'll need to make an appointment with your GP or contact an NHS stop smoking service in order to get it. The treatment usually lasts around 12 weeks, but it can be continued for longer if necessary. Bupropion (Zyban) Bupropion (brand name Zyban) is a medicine that was originally used to treat depression, but it has since been found to help people quit smoking. It's not clear exactly how Bupropion works, but it's believed to have an effect on the parts of the brain that are involved in addictive behaviour. Bupropion is only available on prescription, so you'll have to speak to your GP or get in touch with an NHS stop smoking service to get it. A course of treatment usually lasts around 7 to 9 weeks. E-cigarettes An e-cigarette is an electronic device that delivers nicotine in a vapour. The aim is to provide the sensation of inhaling nicotine without most of the harmful effects of smoking, as the vapour contains no tar or carbon monoxide. E-cigarettes can help you give up smoking, so you may want to try them rather than the medication. As with other approaches, they're most effective if combined with support from an NHS stop smoking service. E-cigarettes are currently not available on prescription, so if you want to use them to help you quit, you will have to purchase one.You're more likely to quit successfully with GETTING SUPPORT the right support. Using your willpower is crucial but you'll increase your chances of success if you get some additional help and advice. Get daily email support If you would like some extra support, you can sign up for daily emails to receive advice and tips from the NHS throughout your 28- day quit smoking journey - delivered straight to your inbox. After this, you can get occasional emails to help keep you on track. Speak to an adviser If you would like to talk to a trained adviser for guidance and support, please call for free: - National Smokefree Helpline on 0300 123 1044 (England only). The lines are open: Monday to Friday: 9am to 8pm, Saturday and Sunday: 11am to 4pm - Quitline on 0800 00 22 00 at any time during your quitting process. The counsellors will be able to offer confidential help and advice. Find your local Stop Smoking Service Your local Stop Smoking Service has trained advisers on hand to provide you with guidance, support, and encouragement to help you stop smoking for good. The advises can give you more information on nicotine replacement products and other stop smoking medicines. Download NHS’s Smokefree app The Smokefree app is a 4-week programme that provides a practical
support, encouragement and tailored advice. It features: daily support messages to motivate you, badges to reward your progress, savings calculator so you can see how much you save by not smoking, and many more. Download the app in the AppStore or Google PlayThe Public Health England advises that people who smoke in general have an increased risk of contracting respiratory infection and of more severe symptoms once infected. COVID-19 symptoms may, therefore, be more severe if you smoke. Quitting smoking will bring immediate benefits to your health, including if you have an existing smoking-related disease. Read the full guidance here. SMOKING AND COVID-19 Quit British Lung Foundation World Health Organisation Ash British Heart Foundation NHS REFERENCES Disclaimer: Corazon Health provides general information on health and wellbeing related topics. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns about your health, you should always consult with a health care professional. Corazon Health cannot accept liability for any injury, loss or damage resulting from this document and its content