Global action day could be your time to quit
Our associate medical
director, Dr Mike Knapton, blogs about why today is a good day to
May 31, 2012
More than 750,000 Brits tried to stub out their tobacco habit on No Smoking Day
If you’re a smoker and have been looking for inspiration to quit
why not use today, World No Tobacco Day
, to help
you ditch the cigarettes for good.
The dangers of smoking are well documented and
two thirds of current smokers tell us they’d really like to stop
but the addictive nature of tobacco means quitting is still
a tough challenge.
What’s great about days like today, is that if
you smoke, you can take heart from knowing thousands of
other people just like you are all trying to
We know more than 750,000 Brits tried to stub
out their tobacco habit on No Smoking Day – our
national quit smoking day - on March 14 this year, and many of them
will have managed to stop for good.
Quitting smoking is the single best
thing you can do for your heart. After quitting for just a
year, your risk of a heart attack
halves, while after 15 years your risk falls to similar levels as
someone who’s never smoked.
And the benefits start within minutes. Just 20
minutes after your last cigarette, your blood pressure and pulse return to normal, while
after 24 hours the carbon monoxide is eliminated from your body and
your lungs start to clear out the tar. After 48 hours, your senses
of taste and smell will be greatly improved.
Let friends and family know you're quitting so they can help
What’s more, quitting is good for your bank
balance with the average 20-a-day smoker saving nearly
£200 a month or nearly £2,500 a
year from quitting – that’s a new kitchen, a car or a great
Of course the long term goal is to stop people
starting smoking in the first place, which is why we support calls
for cigarettes and tobacco to be sold in plain packaging that doesn’t have any glitzy
branding or colours.
But right now, if you smoke and want to stop,
read my top quit tips below to get you started.
Top Quit Tips
Set a date to stop - and stick to it!
Pick a day that will be relatively
stress-free. World No Tobacco Day is a great day to quit, or plan
Write down all the reasons you want to stop
Keep your list somewhere handy to use as a reminder if you are
tempted to have a cigarette.
Keep a diary for a day or two
Record all the times and places you smoke, with a note of how
much you needed each cigarette. This will help you plan for tricky
Let friends and family know you're quitting so they can help. Or
visit your GP, practice nurse or pharmacist to find out more
information on quitting, or visit our website for more top quit
Find others who would like to give up smoking and agree to
support each other. You can find your own quit buddies through our
Stop Smoking Forum.
Break the links that create the habit
Most smokers have times and places when they always have a
cigarette, like after a meal or when you are out with friends. Try
to avoid these situations at first, or do something different - you
could go for a short walk after a meal instead.
Save the money that you would have spent on cigarettes for a
treat such as a new outfit, going out for a meal or taking a