A shocking 19% of UK adults smoke. If you’re thinking about quitting, there really is no better time than the present…
Smoking: we all know it’s not big, it’s not clever, and it certainly isn’t healthy. Just one to four cigarettes a day can triple a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease, so the latest report from the British Heart Foundation showing that 19% of UK adults smoke is a pretty grim statistic. Studies have found that smokers are four times more likely to successfully quit with help from NHS stop smoking services than if they try and go it alone.
Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at the BHF, said: “Smoking increases the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and a variety of cancers. The good news is that stopping smoking is the single best thing you can do for your heart health and the risk to your overall health decreases significantly soon after you stop. We’re encouraging smokers to visit their GP, pharmacist or local stop smoking advisor to receive resources, information, and advice on quitting smoking. Getting prepared for your quit attempt is the first step on the journey towards a smoke-free life.”
The BHF is encouraging smokers to visit their local stop smoking services ahead of this year’s No Smoking Day on March 11th. Almost 1 million smokers will attempt to quit this No Smoking Day, so you certainly won’t be going it alone.
The downside of smoking…
The damaging effects of smoking on health are well known, but little is known about the impact of smoking on those closest to smokers. A new survey for No Smoking Day shows some of the negative impacts smoking has on the lives of others.
The survey found that two-thirds (66%) of UK smokers have argued with a loved one about their habit. Smokers are most likely to row with their loved ones about the risks to their health (50%), the financial cost (45%) and the smell (32%). It’s no surprise that smoking can put a strain on a relationship. A 20-a day smoker spending around £8.50 a pack racks up a monthly bill of over £250, that’s £3k a year!
Dr Mike Knapton commented: “Passive smoke is a cause of short and long-term illness in others and is particularly harmful to children – especially in enclosed spaces. It can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, and other health problems such as asthma and meningitis. Nearly 70 per cent of the smoke that causes damage is invisible, and opening a window does not protect others from the harmful effects of passive smoke. We believe that the single most effective way of reducing loved one’s exposure to passive smoke is for people to quit.”
5 tips to help you quit
Set a date to give up – and stick to it! This year’s No Smoking Day is Wednesday 11 March.
Make a plan. Think about what could help you stop smoking, such as using a nicotine-replacement product, and have it ready before the date you plan to stop.
Get support and let your family and friends know that you’re quitting. Some people find that talking to friends and relatives who have stopped can be helpful. You can also talk to local smoking cessation team.
Keep busy to help take your mind off cigarettes. Try to change your routine, and avoid the shop where you normally buy cigarettes.
- Treat yourself. If you can, use the money you’re saving by not smoking to buy yourself something special.
The 32nd No Smoking Day campaign, inspires and helps smokers who want to quit, and is supported by an alliance of UK health bodies and charities.