No Smoking Day 2022

Every second Wednesday of March is ‘No Smoking Day’. No Smoking Day started in 1984 on Ash Wednesday in an effort to help people quit smoking for good, whilst also raising awareness surrounding the negative health effects of smoking.

Smoking long ago in the 1930s-50s was advertised by Doctors, however in the years since, a heavy amount of research has since changed this stance on smoking. In modern days you won’t see a tobacco brand advertised anywhere from TV to Newspapers, whilst packages are behind closed doors at supermarkets. 

That hasn’t deterred everybody though. In the UK alone, there are approximately 6.9million smokers (around 14.1% of the population aged above 18) according to the ONS. Although this number has seen a decline in recent years, it’s still a high number considering how much more aware we are of those illnesses smoking brings with it.

Why should you stop smoking?

Quitting smoking is one of the most important choices a smoker can make to improve their health, regardless of how long they have been smoking. Whilst notoriously difficult, the benefits can be huge. Take a look below at the effect smoking has on our bodies.

Brain: Smoking increases the risk of having a stroke by at least 50%

Heart: Smoking can double the risk of having a heart attack

Bones: Smoking can cause bones to become week and brittle which increases the risk of osteoporosis in women

Lungs: Smoking causes 84% of deaths from lung cancer and 83% of deaths from COPD

Circulation: Smoking increases blood pressure and heart rate

Fertility: Smoking can cause a lack of sexual appetite and impotency in men, and can make it harder for females to conceive

Mouth and throat: Smoking can increase the risk of cancer in lips, tongue, throat, voice box and gullet

Stomach:  Smoking increases the chance of getting stomach cancer or ulcers

Skin: Smoking prematurely ages skin by between 10 and 20 years

There are also huge financial benefits to quitting smoking. The average smoker smokes a packet of 20 cigarettes a day. With a standard package of cigarettes costing around £13, this equates to saving £91 per week, or £4,732 per year by quitting. 

Here are some tips to help you stop smoking:

Think ahead and plan

The NHS recommends picking a date and sticking to it. 

Tell your friends and family the day you've chosen to stop smoking. Letting them know your plans allows them to help you to stop. Plan out all scenarios that may occur whilst you’re quitting.

“Think about how you’ll deal with tempting situations and what you’ll say if a friend, relative or colleague invites you to have a cigarette. You could say, “No, thanks, I don’t smoke” or “I’ve given up!”

Get moving

Combat the need to smoke by completing some short exercises.

“A review of scientific studies has proved exercise, even a 5-minute walk or stretch, cuts cravings and may help your brain produce anti-craving chemicals.”

Changing diet and drink

A study in the US has revealed that certain foods and drinks make cigarettes taste better. Meat, fizzy drinks, alcohol, tea and coffee were found to be the main culprits for this, whilst cheese, vegetables and fruit (juice also) had the opposite effect and make cigarettes taste worse. Swapping to the latter may help you kick the habit whilst also helping you reach your 5 a day!

Think positive

You might have tried to quit smoking before and not managed it, but don't let that put you off. 

Look back at the things your experience has taught you and think about how you're really going to do it this time. Think of the benefits, both health and financial. Will it help you get over the line with your savings for a family holiday?

Does Stress drive you to smoke? Take a look at our blog article ‘Tips for Identifying and Managing Stress’ to help you manage stress and help you keep the habit broken!

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