Tips To Help You Quit Smoking
Wednesday 14th March marks National No Smoking Day, an awareness day intended to help motivate and support smokers who want to quit. The UK’s first No Smoking Day fell in March 1984, and by 2009, research found that 1 in 10 smokers started their journey to a smoke-free live on this national health awareness day. Could you be one of them this year?
Though cutting down on the amount of cigarettes you smoke will be better for your health, no amount of cigarette smoke is safe or healthy. Every time you take a drag of a cigarette, toxins and chemicals reach your lungs almost immediately and are then carried all around your body. It’s no surprise to anyone these days that smoking is not good for you, but why exactly should you stop?
- Breathe Easy: Lung capacity naturally diminishes with age, but smoking speeds up this process. Successfully giving up smoking will improve your lung capacity, allowing you to breathe more easily and cough less.
- Live Longer: Quitting lowers your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancers, COPD and other respiratory diseases. Smokers who ditch the habit before middle-age are 90% less likely to die prematurely due to smoking-related diseases.
- Boost Your Energy: Within 2 to 12 weeks of stopping smoking, your blood circulation improves. This makes all physical activity, including walking and running, much easier.
- You will also give a boost to your immune system, making it easier to fight off colds and flu. The increase in oxygen in the body can also reduce tiredness and the likelihood of headaches.
- Protect Your Loved Ones: Smokers are not only damaging their health, they are also exposing their friends and family members to dangerous second-hand smoke. Second-hand smoke comes with the same health risks listed above, it also doubles the likelihood of asthma, chest infections and pneumonia in children.
- Look Healthier: Quitting smoking isn’t just great for your body on the inside. Ditching the cigarettes will give you whiter teeth and healthier gums, as younger-looking skin.
- Save Money: Smoking is a dangerous habit with a large price tag. Though it may not seem it when you buy a 20 pack of cigarettes, if you are smoking 20 a day, you’re spending around £3,500 a year on damaging your health.
How to Stop:
Everyone is different and there is no ‘one size fits all’ for quitting smoking, for some, going cold turkey works best, but others favour nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).
Various different NRT products are available from shops and pharmacies. E-cigarettes or ‘vapes’ deliver nicotine in vapour, rather than in smoke, allowing you to get a nicotine fix without the harmful tar or carbon monoxide found in cigarettes. Nicotine patches, gum and Champix can help you manage withdrawal symptoms. Watch our introduction to going smoke free for more information on these products.
Why not reward yourself at each stage of cessation? You can do this guilt-free, with all the money that you saved on cigarettes. After a few days smoke-free, treat yourself to a cinema trip, after a couple of weeks, go to a fancy restaurant with a friend or partner, alternatively, you may want to set your sights on a holiday after a year of not smoking.
- Manage Triggers: As well as being addictive, smoking is a habit and many smokers have a loose routine regarding when they have a cigarette. Being mindful of these routines or ‘triggers’ is key to breaking them.
- Eliminate any reminders: If you are serious about quitting smoking for good, get rid of any ashtrays or lighters in your home. Once you’ve removed the temptation, you won’t be needing them anyway!
- Quit as a team: If you don’t want to go it alone, National No Smoking Day may be the kick-start that you and a quitting partner need. Whether it’s a parent, a partner or a colleague, having someone with the same health goals will help motivate you, as well as being understanding if things get a little tough.
- Take regular exercise: As well as being a healthy distraction, even light physical activity can release anti-craving chemicals to the The longer you go without a cigarette, the fitter you’ll feel, so you may want to up your exercise from a short walk to a run or aerobics class.
It is no secret that smoking is a huge danger to your health, but this damage can be reversed if you quit soon. Withdrawal can be difficult, but remind yourself that this is a sign of your body returning to its healthy function. Once you’ve not smoked for 28 days, you’re five times more likely to never smoke again, so what are you waiting for?
MySelfCare is inspired to bring more control, and total peace of mind to the lives of people who are living with long-term health conditions. We strive to provide effective self-care, our home health care devices give more control to patients and their loved ones by allowing them to effectively manage their health.