How to Quit Smoking
January. A month full of New Year Resolutions! If you smoke, wanting to quit is the best New Year’s Resolution you could pledge yourself. However, even with the best intentions, you may not quite get there…
This is why we have designed a few tips and tricks to help you. However, before we do… here are a few stats:
- Smoking causes at least 15 different types of cancer. (Cancer Research UK)
- Tobacco is the largest preventable cause of death in the world. (Cancer Research UK)
- On average most people who quit save £250 a month (SmokeFree)
The Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking
What health benefits are there to quitting smoking?
8 Hours after quitting
Nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in the blood reduce by half and your oxygen levels return to normal.
24 hours after quitting
Carbon monoxide is eliminated from the body; lungs start to clear out mucus and other smoking debris.
48 hours after quitting
There is no nicotine left in your body and the ability to taste and smell is greatly improved.
72 hours after quitting
Breathing becomes easier. Bronchial tubes begin to relax and your energy levels should start to increase.
2-12 weeks after quitting
Circulation improves. Oxygenated blood is flowing around your body and helping to improve your health.
3-9 months after quitting
Coughs and wheezing improves and how well you can breathe increases by up to 10%.
1 year smokefree
Your risk of a heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker.
10 years smokefree
The risk of getting lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker.
15 years smokefree
Your risk of a heart attack falls to the same as someone who has never smoked.
Our Top Tips
1. Don’t Do It Alone
Of course, you do not HAVE to have support, but statistics show you are much more likely to quit smoking if you have support. You can get lots of information and advice here at Dyfi Valley Health or you can get support from other NHS providers free of charge:
2. Make a Plan
Make a promise, set a date and stick to it. Sticking to the “not a drag” rule can really help.
Whenever you find yourself in difficulty, say to yourself, “I won’t even have a single drag”, and stick with this until the cravings pass.
Think ahead to times where it might be difficult (a party, for instance), and plan your actions and escape routes in advance.
3. Find Out When You Crave
A craving can last 5 minutes. Before you give up, make a list of 5-minute strategies.
For example, you could leave the party for a minute, dance or go to the bar.
And think about this: the combination of smoking and drinking raises your risk of mouth cancer by 38 times.
4. Get Moving
A review of scientific studies has proved exercise, even a 5-minute walk or stretch, cuts cravings and may help your brain produce anti-craving chemicals.
5. Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) can double your chances of success.
As well as patches, there are tablets, lozenges, gum and a nasal spray. And if you like holding a cigarette, there are handheld products like the inhalator or e-cigarettes.
When you’re out, try putting your drink in the hand that usually holds a cigarette, or drink from a straw to keep your mouth busy.
6. List Why You Want to Quit
Keep reminding yourself why you made the decision to give up. Make a list of the reasons and read it when you need support.
- Create a Personal Quit Plan (https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/for-your-body/quit-smoking/stoptober/)
- Quit Support from Smokers and ex-Smokers (https://healthunlocked.com/quitsupport)
- NHS Stop Smoking Treatments (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stop-smoking-treatments/)