Yes smoking is bad for you - it's something you already know. But just how does one go about quitting and what help is out there to make it easier? The UK's Department of Health describes smoking as one of our most significant public health challenges. The habit accounts for more than 80,000 premature deaths each year. It's the biggest preventable cause of death. Some 21% of adults in England partake and a 15-cigarette-a-day habit will cost you more than £2,000 a year*. Giving up is good for everything: - your heart, your mind, your family and your pocket. And yet quitting is notoriously hard to do. Read on to maximise your chances of becoming and staying smoke-free.....
Will giving up smoking make me fat?
This is a valid concern for smokers. According to NHS Choices, on average, the long-term weight gain for each smoker who quits is about 3-kg (6-lbs). Weight can be gained because nicotine speeds up your metabolism so while smoking your body burns calories at a faster rate. Nicotine also suppresses appetite, so when you quit your appetite and sense of taste may improve tempting you to snack more. So you may be asking yourself: ?why quit?' Well according to the smoking cessation charity QUIT, the risks to your health of being a little overweight are small compared to the risk of smoking. Remember - smoking is the UK's biggest preventable cause of death, not weight gain. And a few lifestyle changes such as substituting unhealthy snacks for healthy ones and exercising regularly, should enable you to keep in shape. Moreover, using nicotine replacement therapy while you quit will reduce your risk of gaining weight.
Eating fruit & veg can help you quit
According to scientists at the University of Buffalo, smokers who consumed the most fruit and vegetables were three times more likely to be tobacco-free for at least 30 days at follow-up 14 months later than their peers who ate the least amount of fruits and vegetables. Why is this? Well, it remains something of a mystery but the researchers postulate that fruit and vegetables actually worsen the taste of cigarettes or that their high fibre content makes people feel fuller and less in need of cigarettes (since smokers sometimes confuse hunger with the urge to smoke). Yet another good excuse to eat your 5 a day!