There are lots of good reasons to quit. Everyone's motivations to stop will be different. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Improve Your Health, Whatever Your Age
Giving up smoking at any age will increase your life expectancy, provided you stop before you develop cancer or another serious disease.
The sooner you give up smoking the better. After:
- 20 minutes - your blood pressure and pulse return to normal
- 8 hours - nicotine, carbon monoxide and oxygen levels in your blood begin to return to normal
- 2 days - your lungs start to clear and your sense of taste and smell begin to return
- 3 days - breathing is easier and your energy levels increase
- 2-12 weeks - circulation improves and exercise gets easier
- 3-9 months - breathing problems, coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing improve
- 5 years - the risk of having a heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker
- 10 years - the risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker. You have the same risk of a heart attack as someone who has never smoked.
Save Yourself Thousands Of Pounds
Smoking is very expensive. At today's rates, smoking around twenty cigarettes a day for the next twenty years would cost you over £30,000.
Write down how much you spend on cigarettes every day for a week. Then work out how much your smoking costs you every year. Think about what else you could do with the money.
Look After Those Around You
If you smoke, you may be exposing your friends, partner or children to your smoke. So your smoking could be endangering the health of people you love. Smoking may reduce your fertility and your chances of having a baby. And of course, smoking when pregnant can harm your child.
Smoking can also have a big impact on your home. Quitting smoking will mean no more stale cigarette smells, smoke stained walls, cigarette burns on your furniture and ashtrays to clear up.
Stop The Stress And The Guilt
More and more buildings are now non-smoking so finding a place to smoke can be quite stressful. How many times have you felt anxious because you didn’t know when you were going to get your next cigarette? Think how nice it would be not to get stressed about where you can go to smoke.
Smokers often feel guilty. You may be trying to hide your smoking from your partner or children. Have you seen people looking at you disapprovingly when you smoke in public? Sometimes feeling guilty about smoking means that you don't enjoy cigarettes as much as you did. Giving up could make you feel more in control and better about yourself.
Look Younger And More Attractive
Smoking ages your skin. It also makes you smell of smoke and stains your fingers and teeth. And in the long term, smoking could damage your circulation leading to gangrene and even amputation. So give up now before it’s too late.
Help With Giving Up
Giving up is the best thing a smoker can do to improve their health. Most smokers say that they would like to give up if they could. But for some, stopping isn't simple.
Before you give up make sure you know why you want to stop. Ask yourself:
- Why do I smoke?
- Why do I want to stop smoking?
- Is this the right time to stop smoking?
- When am I most likely to give in to cravings?
- What can I do to overcome these cravings?
- Who can support me whilst I’m giving up?
- How can I reward myself for giving up?
- When would be a good quit date?
Once you've thought about all these issues you may decide you need some support with quitting for good. You can also opt for the healthier and entertaining way of smoking using E shisha
Get Professional Help
There are professionals available to help you give up. The NHS has a range of services on offer. These include:
- Stop smoking groups - sessions run by health professionals for groups of smokers who want to stop. In the sessions you can find out more about ways to give up and share tips and experiences with others.
- One to one counselling - in many areas individual counselling is available to help you give up.
Control Your Withdrawal Symptoms
There are several products on the market to help control withdrawal symptoms you may experience when giving up smoking. Many are free on prescription from your GP.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy can help you by reducing your nicotine cravings. NRT has been shown to double your chances of successfully quitting. It is also less addictive than smoking and doesn't cause cancer. NRT is available on prescription or over the counter as gum, patches, tablets, lozenges, nasal spray or inhalers. You usually take a 10-12 week course.
Zyban is another drug that can help you give up smoking. It doesn’t contain nicotine. Instead, it works by reducing your desire to smoke and relieving withdrawal symptoms. Zyban is only available on prescription and is not suitable for everyone. So talk to your doctor if you want to find out more.
Putting On Weight
Many people are worried that when they give up smoking they may put on weight. This may be because:
- Nicotine suppresses your appetite and makes your body burn calories faster
- Smoking affects your taste and smell, so food may be much tastier when you quit
- Some people replace cigarettes with snacks and sweets when they give up.
If you’re worried about putting on weight:
- Try to eat a balanced diet
- Do regular moderate physical exercise
- Give yourself rewards that don't involve food or drink
- Remember that once you’ve given up it will be much easier to stay active, helping you to lose any weight you do put on.
Don't Give Up!
Giving up smoking is hard work and it may take some people several attempts to quit for good. Remember that nicotine is very addictive and watch out for situations where you might be tempted to have 'just one cigarette'. If you do start smoking again, think about where you went wrong and try to learn from your experiences for next time. Phone the NHS or Quit helplines to help you get back on track.
Further information and support:
• NHS Smoking Helpline
0800 169 0169
• Smoking Quitline
0800 00 22 00