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Key Smoking Facts
About 10 million UK adults smoke, some 22% of men and 21% of women. Most start before they turn 18.
Smoking causes 90% of UK lung cancer deaths, 80% of bronchitis and emphysema deaths and 17% of deaths from heart disease.
Nicotine, the addictive property in tobacco, is as addictive as heroin or cocaine, according to the Royal College of Physicians.
Order your free Quit Kit online at www.smokefree.nhs.uk or call the advice line on 0800 0224 332.
Benefits Of Smoking Cessation
Smoking is highly addictive. In fact, it's as addictive as heroin, according to the Royal College of Physicians, and is responsible for around 100,000 deaths in the UK every year. Despite this, nicotine is not illegal.
Most smokers start before they are 18. Once you start, it can be incredibly difficult to quit. However, with willpower and the right support, smoking cessation is possible.
There are myriad benefits to quitting smoking - for both your body and your wallet. If you smoke 20 a day, giving up for one month will save you £217. Over the course of a year, that's £2,555.
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is available to help you quit. This can cost as little as £7.20 per week (as much as 20 cigarettes).
Your body is very resilient, and, once you quit smoking, it will start to repair itself. The positive health effects of quitting smoking will take effect almost immediately. Your skin will look younger (and less wrinkled), you'll smell much better, and your energy levels will increase. Boosted bloodflow should make you better in the bedroom, too.
Once you quit:
- It takes 20 minutes for your blood pressure and pulse to return to normal.
- 24 hours later, your lungs start to clear.
- Within 48 hours, your body is free of nicotine. Your sense of taste and smell will improve.
- Within 72 hours, you can breathe more easily, and your energy levels increase.
- Between two to 12 weeks later, your circulation improves.
- Three to nine months later, and coughs, wheezing and breathing will improve.
- After a year, the risk of having a heart attack is half that of a smoker.
- After a decade, your lung cancer risk is half that of a smoker.
Smoking Cessation Treatments
Nicotine replacement therapy can help satisfy your addiction whilst you wean yourself off cigarettes - without inhaling lungfuls of harmful smoke. By delivering a small amount of nicotine to the body, NRT helps take the 'edge' off cravings for cigarettes. NRT is not infallible, however, and smokers wanting to quit must use their willpower to resist the temptation to light up.
There are several different kinds of NRT available. Different people may prefer one method over another. It's okay to combine your choices of NRT, too - so if you find a combination of gum and an inhalator works for you, that is fine.
Most NRTs are available over the counter. These include:
- Nicotine patches (in varying strengths)
- Nicotine gum
- Mouth spray
- Nasal spray
- Microtabs - which dissolve and release nicotine under your tongue
- Inhalator - a plastic, hollow 'cigarette' which releases nicotine vapour (not smoke) when you inhale.
Smokers often find they miss the sensation of smoking - that is, having something to hold, fiddle with and put in your mouth. Replacing cigarettes with gum can help to bridge the oral fixation. Eating crunchy foods, like celery, may also help. Using an inhalator, or simply carrying a pen, can help keep your hands and mouth busy.
So how do you make a good start ? You may have tried many times, possibly even several times just since that inevitable New Year’s Resolution which probably failed within 48 hours leaving you deflated and beaten by your nicotine habit.
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