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Smoking

Advice on Quitting Smoking

There are many benefits to giving up tobacco, not just for your own health but also the health of those around you.

The harmful effects of smoking are widely known and understood ad its greatest single cause of illness and premature death in UK, with approximately 106,000 people dying from smoking – related conditions each year.

Despite these facts the financial costs have to be taken into consideration, many smokers still find it hard to give up for good. This is because like all drugs, nicotine, the active ingredient in tobacco, is addictive and can lead to dependency. What’s more, smoking doesn’t just affect you, husbands’ wives, partners, children and friends can all be affected by second hand smoke.

Why should I quit?

Smoking puts you at greater risk of developing all kinds of conditions and illnesses, such as mouth and throat cancer, lung cancer, other cancers, fertility issues, coronary heart disease, shortness of breath, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and circulation problems.

  • Mouth and throat cancer: approximately 65% of cancers of the oral cavity (including lips and throat) are caused by smoking in the UK.

  • Lung cancer: 80% of the deaths from lung cancer each year are related to smoking.

  • Other cancers: including cancer of the nose, pancreas, bladder, cervix and kidneys

  • Fertility issues: for both men and women, can increase incidences of erectile dysfunction

    for men.

  • Coronary heart disease: smoking is leading cause of cardiovascular disease and smokers

    are almost twice as likely to have a heart attack compared to those never smoked.

  • Shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing: These are common due to the damage to

    your lungs caused by chemicals.

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): At least 4 out of 5 people who develop

    this disease are, or have been smokers. It causes the lining of the airway to become inflamed

    and permanently damaged by smoke.

  • Circulation problems: Chemicals cause hardening of the arteries, which can lead to poor

    circulation, strokes, heart disease and peripheral vascular disease.

Fact: There are over 4000 different chemicals in tobacco smoke, many of which are poisonous.

Did you know it’s not only yourself who you are damaging, being exposed to someone else’s smoke, through passive smoking, can also cause lung cancer, heart disease and all the other conditions smokers are at risk from.

Children who live with smokers and travel in cars where they are exposed to smoke, may develop asthma and ear infections and smoking around babies can increase the risk of cot death.

Not only that, but if you smoke, your children are 3 times more likely you smoke when they grow up. So, when you consider the effect tobacco could have on a child’s health.

Smoking whilst pregnant

Protecting your baby from tobacco smoke is one of the best things you can do to give your child a healthy start in life.

Smoking whilst pregnant can lead to many problems for your unborn baby including:

  • Increased risk of miscarriage or premature birth

  • An increased risk of still birth or death within the first week of life

  • Genetic conditions such as cleft palate

  • Low birth weight

  • Issues with long term growth and development.​

 

Therefore, to protect the future health of your baby, its vital that you stop smoking as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. In fact, because of the way smoking can affect your fertility, stopping sooner can increase your chances of conceiving.

Will I be able to quit?

Many smokers find the thought of stopping daunting and worry about things such as whether they’ll put on weight or whether they’ll fail – on average most people have 3 or 4 attempts at quitting before they give up for good.

Tips for smoke free success:

  • List your reasons: keep your list with you so when you feel tempted, read through and this will remind you why you want to give up.

  • Make a date: rather than vague promises that you’ll give up next week/in a month, make a definite date and stick to it.

  • Tell others: by sharing your intentions to give up with family and friends, they’ll be able to support you.

  • Throw away your lighter: by clearing out your lighters, ashtrays and anything else to do with smoking, you’re less likely to lapse.

  • Stop, full stop: while some think gradual stopping is better, it is better to give up completely.

  • Try nicotine replacement therapies: some people find nicotine replacements better, they come in patches, chewing gum, lozenges, inhalers or sprays. These prevent smokers suffering nicotine withdrawal when they give up. They cannot guarantee you to give up, they can increase your chances of breaking the smoking habit.​

 

Nicotine replacements: you should speak to one of our GP’s/Nurses to find out what would be the best solution. There are different options on the market, all with different benefits.

  • Patches: once a day solution delivering a controlled amount of nicotine

  • Lozenges: available in 4 different strengths and can be used as a replacement to cigarettes to help stop smoking completely, or simply as a method of cutting down.

  • Gum: available in different flavours and 2 different strengths. Can e used to stop smoking completely, and cut down then stop.

  • Inhalator: inhalator consists of a mouthpiece and a replaceable nicotine cartridge.

  • Mouth spray: discreet and easy to use, a spray gets to work quickly for fast craving relief.

 

Straight away you will notice the benefits

  • After 72 hours: breathing becomes easier, lungs start to relax and energy levels rise.

  • After a month: skin looks better due to improved blood supply.

  • After 3-9 months: lung function increases up to 10%, coughs, wheezing and breathing problems reduced.

  • After a year: your risk of suffering a heart attack is halved.

  • After 10 years: your risk of developing lung cancer is halved.

  • After 15 years: your risk of suffering a heart attack becomes the same as someone who has never smoked.

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