It is never too late to quit. Even heavy smokers who consumed more than 20 cigarettes a day for decades report feeling healthier after giving up. It takes just three smoke-free months for a former smoker to breathe more easily. Over time your risk of disease also diminishes dramatically.
Health & lifestyle benefits of quitting
- reduced risk of lung disease, cancer, heart disease and other illnesses
- huge financial savings - several hundred pounds a month if you’re a heavy smoker
- reduced risk of gangrene or amputation caused by circulatory problems
- you will stop smelling of stale tobacco
- reduced risk of your family suffering ill health from secondhand smoke
- your home will smell fresher
- improved fertility levels and chance of healthy pregnancy and baby
- reduced risk of fire
- younger looking skin and whiter teeth
- a better sex life - quitting improves blood flow leading to greater sensitivity, better orgasms and better erections.
- lower insurance premiums
Why cigarettes are so bad for you
The reason smoking is so bad for you is because cigarettes contain over 4,000 toxic chemicals, of which around 70 cause cancer. Cancer Research UK says nearly a fifth of all cancer cases in this country are due to smoking. The chemicals in cigarettes can change your DNA. Cigarettes also contain carbon monoxide (the poisonous gas in car fumes). This gets into your bloodstream where oxygen should be, depriving your cells of their vital oxygen supply. The tar in cigarettes sticks in your lungs making the tubes narrower and less efficient. Smoking is linked to lung cancer, heart disease, strokes and respiratory illness to name but a few.
Health improvements after quitting
1-9 months later- coughing & shortness of breath decreases
1 year later- risk of heart disease is half it would be if you were still smoking
5 years later- risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, oesophagus & bladder are cut in half. Cervical cancer risk & stroke risk same as a non-smoker
10 years later- risk of dying from lung cancer is about half it would be if you were still smoking. Risk of cancer of the larynx and pancreas decreases
15 years later- risk of coronary heart disease is now the same as a non-smoker
How to quit
To quit, ask for a referral to a Stop Smoking Support Service where you’ll be put in touch with an advisor for information, advice and support.