Stop smoking for good in 2017
As we progress through January, many people who quit smoking as a New Year’s Resolution may be finding it tough to stay off tobacco, so the Public Health Agency (PHA) is urging people to make use of the support that is available to help make their decision permanent.
Colette Rogers, Strategic Lead for Tobacco Control with the PHA, said: “We know that stopping smoking can be very difficult, but help is at hand.
“In Northern Ireland there are more than 650 free PHA-funded stop smoking services; most of these are run by specially-trained staff who can advise you on the best way to stop smoking. Services are offered in many GP practices, community pharmacies, HSC Trust premises, and community and voluntary organisations, and can be set up in workplaces.
“Make use of the free support and stop smoking medication – it will be tailored for your needs and research shows people are four times more likely to quit if they use it.
“Stopping smoking is the best change a person can make to improve their overall health. The benefits start almost immediately and continue for the rest of your life.”
Just 20 minutes after you stop smoking your heart rate drops, and after 24 hours carbon monoxide and nicotine is eliminated from the body. Circulation improves and your lung function increases between 2-12 weeks. Five years later and the risk of heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker. After ten years, the risk of lung cancer falls to half that of someone who still smokes.
Colette continued: “Stopping smoking also has huge financial benefits, and with the cost of tobacco products continuing to rise, there really isn’t a better time to quit. Quitting a 20-a-day habit will deliver an average £3,420 a year saving, which could be used to pay off bills or for treats to reward your hard work and determination.
“Using stop smoking support services and stop smoking medication can greatly improve your chances of becoming a non-smoker.
“For more information on the services available and useful tips to stop smoking, visit the PHA’s ‘Want 2 Stop’ website at www.want2stop.info where you can also order a ‘Quit Kit’ free of charge which will help you plan your quit attempt. Also follow us on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/want2stopni
“If you quit and then relapse, accept it, work out why it happened, and focus on how you can avoid it in future. It takes several efforts for many people to quit for good but if you are determined you will do it. Last year thousands of people decided to stop using our stop smoking services and many others did so, on their own. Be prepared is the motto for success.”