Halfway into Stoptober 2019 as Smokers around the UK Ditch the Cigs

stoptoberWith just over two weeks into the annual anti-smoking campaign Stoptober, Medical Specialists would like to know just how many of you are planning to attempt to last the full 28 days this October?

You may also wonder why 28 days was chosen as the period in which smokers are challenged to abstain. Well, if you can make it the full 28 days, research suggests you are then five times more likely to quit for good!

In 2017, almost 400,000 smokers in England quit successfully, which is the equivalent to an incredible 1,095 smokers each and every day.

Many smokers – especially those who have smoked for a number of years – often wonder why they should quit now after so long. However, remember that irrespective of how long you have smoked for, stopping smoking will always have immediate benefits to your health.

Within just 2 to 12 weeks after stopping smoking, your blood circulation improves. This makes all physical activity, including walking and running, is now much easier to do.

Moreover, your immune system will see an improvement, meaning it will be easier to fight off pesky colds and flu. The rise in oxygen in the body can also reduce tiredness and the likelihood of headaches.

There are a number of ways the NHS can support you to quit smoking in Stoptober. The Stoptober app (available on the App Store and Google Play) will actually let you know exactly how much money you’re saving by not smoking, and you can subscribe to receive a daily email to further boost your motivation.

You can also join the stop smoking community or receive more personal support.

Why is smoking bad for me?

Tobacco contains around 5,000 chemicals such as tar and nicotine. Smokers may want the feeling of the nicotine, but are then harmed by the tar.

At least 70 of those chemicals can cause cancer and each time a person smokes, these toxins enter the lungs and move elsewhere around the body.

With this in mind, it is not surprising that smokers live 10 years less than non-smokers.

No safe tobacco!

  • Smoking cigars and pipes is just as damaging for you as smoking cigarettes.
  • Roll-up tobacco smoke has the same chemicals as manufactured cigarette smoke. Roll-ups are usually produced without filters, making them more toxic than regular cigarettes.
  • Shisha smoking, or ‘hookah’ or ‘waterpipe’, contains tobacco. The smoke may pass through water, but unfortunately this fun post night-out habit is as harmful as normal cigarette smoke.
  • Smokeless tobacco – tobacco that is chewed or sucked – is also highly addictive and harmful.

Are e-cigarettes better for me?

Although e-cigarettes may provide nicotine that people often desire, their vapour does not include the toxic tar.

Until further studies are carried out, there is not enough available data about their effects on health. However, many health experts argue that e-cigarettes cause just 5% of the harm of smoking and may be a useful aid in eventually stopping smoking altogether.

Why should I quit smoking?

You’ll be improving the health of yourself and those around you, you’ll look better, live longer, and suddenly benefit from extra cash.

Some elder smokers believe it is too late for them to stop, or say “what is the point now?” This is a wrong outlook to have. It is never too late to stop smoking. Even if you decided to eventually quit whilst in your 60s, your lungs will still begin to work better and you will feel better for it.

Your friends and family will benefit from you quitting smoking and be healthier too. Those around you are inhaling second-hand smoke and at risk of the same diseases that smokers are at risk of. Babies and children are especially at risk as their lungs are not fully formed and will breathe more rapidly as a result.

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