Smoking is the single most preventable cause of ill health and early death in the UK. Most smokers want to stop and it's the single most important thing a smoker can do to live longer and feel better.
Smoking is one of the "main risk factors” for heart disease.
If you continue to smoke when you have angina your chances of having a heart attack (or having another one if you've already had one) are doubled. Smokers also have a much higher chance of lung disease, and cancer.
But the good news is - Ten million people in Britain in the last 15 years have stopped smoking and remained stopped. That's 1,000 every day.
- Stopping smoking after getting heart disease has almost immediate health benefits
- Giving up smoking reduces the risk of early death or a heart attack to the same as a non-smoker after about 2 years
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- Name a quit day and prepare. Remember that the aim is to quit completely rather than to cut down
- Make a list of reasons for quitting and any reasons for continuing. Make sure you really want to quit this time
Work out what you will do in different situations
- What distractions will you use when the cravings come?
- Do you need to practice relaxation?
- What will you say when someone offers you a cigarette?
- Who will you talk to in any desperate moments?
- Discuss with you GP or pharmacist the possibility of using nicotine replacement therapy to ease withdrawal symptoms. Nicotine replacement therapy comes as patches, chewing gum or a spray
- The night before you quit get rid of all smoking materials, including ashtrays, cigarettes and lighters
- On the quit day think positive. Remember what you are going to do if it gets tough and stick with it. At the end of the day reward yourself e.g. a long relaxing bath listening to your favourite music. Why not put your money in a moneybox as a reminder of how much money you are saving
- Later days – repeat the above points. Reward yourself, don't panic about the odd lapse and:
Call yourself a non-smoker
- Don't worry about putting on weight – many people don't when they stop smoking. If they gain weight the average is only 4lbs. Try not to eat more when you stop – have low calorie snacks handy for when you feel like nibbling – carrot sticks, celery, an apple etc. You can lose any weight you need after you have kicked the habit
- You can get help from smoking concerns for advice about quitting and local support services
Ask your practice nurse, pharmacist or GP if there is a local support group or other help available e.g. local pharmacists who offer support and NRT.
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