Stopping Smoking

The best thing you can do for your health and the health of your family is to stop smoking. It can be difficult at times in the early stages but it really is worth it. 

You probably know that smoking is harmful to your lungs, but did you know that it also damages your heart and blood vessels?

In fact, if you smoke you are 2-4 times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.

Once you have stopped smoking, after:

  • 20 minutes, your blood pressure starts to lower
  • 8 hours, your risk of heart attack starts to fall
  • 12 weeks, it is easier for your heart to pump
  • 1 year, your risk of heart attack falls to 1/2 that of someone who smokes
  • 15 years, your risk of heart attack drops to that of someone who has NEVER smoked

Support is available to help you stop smoking

You are twice as likely to stop smoking permanently with support rather than without support and if you use appropriate medication you are twice as likely to stop smoking permanently.

Tips to help you stop smoking

  • Write a list of your reasons for quitting and keep the list with you as a constant reminder of the benefits you will enjoy
  • Set a date for quitting and stick to it
  • Tell the people who will support you about your decision
  • Get rid of all tobacco products
  • Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) will minimise withdrawal symptoms
  • Be aware of situations in which you are more likely to smoke and practice in your mind how you will deal with them
  • Be positive

You are more likely to remain positive if you continue to reward yourself, short, medium and long-term for being a non-smoker. Try rewards other than food - for example, going to the movies.

Stop Smoking Now

Next steps

  • The Quit Group is a charitable trust offering a free quit smoking telephone helpline as well as an extensive website. Call Quitline on 0800 778 778

  • Talk to your Doctor or Practice Nurse - Most GPs practice nurses will be able to provide you with advice and support as well as access to the subsidised NRT. Should you wish to use one of the prescription medications, your doctor will be able to help you. Your general practice may also be able to advise you on community based programmes available in your area.

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