Stop Smoking! You can do it.
Time for a smoke?
One cigarette reduces your life by 11 minutes¹
The accumulated data indicate that smokers continue to minimize their personal health risks: they do not believe that they are as much at risk as other smokers of becoming addicted or suffering health effects²
Men who never smoke have a 78% chance of reaching 73; those who start smoking by the age of 20 and never stop have a 42% chance³
¹Richard Doll, Richard Peto, Jillian Boreham and Isabelle Sutherland
Mortality in relation to smoking: 50 years’ observations on male British doctors
²Neil D. Weinstein
Accuracy of smokers’ risk perceptions
Nicotine & Tobacco Research Volume 1, Supplement 1 / 1999 S123 – S130
³Phillips AN, Goya Wannamethee S, Walker M, Thomson A, Davey Smith G
Life expectancy in men who have never smoked and those who have smoked continuously: 15 year follow up of large cohort of middle aged British men
BMJ 1996;313:907-908 (12 October)
What will I gain financially?
How many cigarettes do you smoke a day? How much does it cost? It’s worth thinking about this over a longer time scale. Here’s an example:
If I have quit for ________, I could treat myself to:
1 week – 20 a day at £8 a packet = £56 – A half tank of petrol for your car.
2 weeks – £112 – A romantic meal out for two
1 month – £224 – An iPod
3 months – £672 – A weekend break
1 year – £2688 – A return flight to Australia + extras!!!!
Tips To Help You Stop Smoking
- Write a list of the reasons why you want to stop, and keep them with you. Refer to them when tempted to light up.
- Set a date for stopping, and stop completely. (Some people prefer the idea of cutting down gradually. However, research has shown that if you smoke fewer cigarettes than usual, you are likely to smoke more of each cigarette, and nicotine levels remain nearly the same. Therefore, it is usually best to stop once and for all from a set date.)
- Tell everyone that you are giving up smoking. Friends and family often give support and may help you. Smoking by others in the household makes giving up harder. If appropriate, try to get other household members who smoke, or friends who smoke, to stop smoking at the same time. A ‘team’ effort may be easier than going it alone.
- Get rid of ashtrays, lighters, and all cigarettes.
- Be prepared for some withdrawal symptoms. When you stop smoking, you are likely to get symptoms which may include: nausea (feeling sick), headaches, anxiety, irritability, craving, and just feeling awful. These symptoms are caused by the lack of nicotine that your body has been used to. They tend to peak after 12-24 hours, and then gradually ease over 2-4 weeks.
- Anticipate a cough. It is normal for a ‘smokers cough’ to get worse when you stop smoking (as the airways ‘come back to life’). Many people say that this makes them feel worse for a while after stopping smoking and makes them tempted to restart smoking. Resist this temptation! The cough usually gradually eases.
- Be aware of situations in which you are most likely to want to smoke. In particular, drinking alcohol is often associated with failing in an attempt to stop smoking. You should consider not drinking much alcohol in the first few weeks after stopping smoking. Try changing your routine for the first few weeks. For example, don’t go to the pub for a while if that is a tempting place to smoke and drink alcohol. Also, if drinking tea and coffee are difficult times, try drinking mainly fruit juice and plenty of water instead.
- Take one day at a time. Mark off each successful day on a calendar. Look at it when you feel tempted to smoke, and tell yourself that you don’t want to start all over again.
- Be positive. You can tell people that you don’t smoke. You will smell better. After a few weeks you should feel better, taste your food more, and cough less. You will have more money. Perhaps put away the money you would have spent on cigarettes for treats.
- Food. Some people worry about gaining weight when they give up smoking as the appetite may improve. Anticipate an increase in appetite, and try not to increase fatty or sugary foods as snacks. Try sugar-free gum and fruit instead.
- Don’t despair if you fail. Examine the reasons why you felt it was more difficult at that particular time. It will make you stronger next time. On average, people who eventually stop smoking have made 3 or 4 previous attempts.
- Stop Smoking Clinics are available on the NHS in many parts of the country. They have a good success in helping people to stop smoking. Your doctor may refer you to one if you are keen to stop smoking but are finding it difficult to do so. Stopping smoking is not easy. Below are some tips which may help you to stop smoking.
- Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) can help if withdrawal symptoms are troublesome. Nicotine gum, sprays, patches, tablets, lozenges, and inhalers are available. Using one of these roughly doubles your chance of stopping smoking if you really want to stop. A pharmacist, GP, practice nurse or Stop Smoking Clinic can advise about NRT.
- A medicine called bupropion (trade name ‘Zyban’) is another option. It also roughly doubles your chance of stopping smoking if you really want to stop. It helps reduce the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. It may be advised by a GP or Stop Smoking Clinic if you are determined to stop, but are finding it difficult.
Further help and information
Quit – a charity that helps people to stop smoking.
Quitline: 0800 00 22 00 Web: www.quit.org.uk
NHS smoking helpline:
Tel: 0800 169 0 169 Web: www.givingupsmoking.co.uk
NHS Pregnancy Smoking Helpline
Tel: 0800 169 9 169
Lines are open daily from 12 noon – 9pm. Services include support and advice from a trained adviser who understands the different issues pregnancy brings. They also have a call-back service to give you ongoing support throughout pregnancy.
ASH is a campaigning public health charity working to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco. www.ash.org.uk
Hertfordshire Stop Smoking Service
Contact the Hertfordshire Stop Smoking Service for help and contacts of local Stop Smoking Services on 0800 389 3 998. Or you can click on firstname.lastname@example.org
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