Make today smoke-free!
Wednesday 12th March
The annual awareness campaign turned 30 last year and this important milestone was marked with a survey* to assess its progress to date. The results showed that 52 per cent of smokers have now heard of No Smoking Day and that one in five of them had been inspired to try to quit in 2013. Extrapolated population-wide, that's a staggering one million smokers!
If you or a loved one would like to join the growing ranks this time round, then there's no need to go it alone. This year's theme is V for Victory, and you can find out how to win the “battle” against cigarettes by visiting the British Heart Foundation's No Smoking Day website.
Helping you quit
There are free NHS service to help smokers stub out their habit for good. Statistically, you're four times more likely to succeed if you seek additional assistance. There are various options, including combinations of the following:
- One-to-one support
- Support groups
- Telephone helplines
- Nicotine replacement therapy including gum, patches and inhalators
- Prescription medication such as Champix or Zyban
Tell friends and family about your plans to quit, so that you can draw on their support and encouragement. The No Smoking Day online forum is a chance to share your successes – and challenges – with people going through exactly the same experience as you. There are currently close to 5,000 members and topics range from individual stories of quitting to weight management, and diet and exercise tips.
Smoking is of course linked to a number of serious health conditions, including heart disease and lung cancer. Whether you're a long-term or recent smoker, the health benefits will kick in almost as soon as you stub out that last cigarette.
Feel the difference
After 48 hours, your lungs start to clear of mucus and other smoking-related nasties. In the first three to nine months, your lungs are busy repairing themselves and you'll notice that you're coughing and wheezing less.
For the under-35s, the good news is that if you stop smoking now you can expect to live just as long as any non-smokers. And there are positives for older smokers too: even if you give up between the ages of 65 and 74, your life expectancy beyond 75 will improve compared to smokers who persist in puffing away.
Members of benenden health can contact the 24-hour GP advice line if they are concerned about their health and would like to speak to a doctor.
* Source: GfK NOP survey of 3,685 adults (2013).