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A practical guide to stop smoking

Smoking Facts

  • Smokers double their risk of dying from coronary heart disease, and if they also suffer from high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, the risk increases eight-fold.
  • 40% of heavy smokers die before retirement age compared with 15% of nonsmokers.
  • Children whose parents smoke are more likely to develop glue ear, asthma and other breathing problems than children of nonsmoking parents.
  • Smoking during pregnancy is of particular concern because it may damage the health of the fetus, as well as the mother.

The Benefits of Quitting

  • Within 48 hours of quitting, nicotine is no longer detectable in the body.
  • By 3-9 months breathing problems show improvement with lung function increased by 5% - 10%.
  • In 5 years the risk of a heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker.
  • By 10 years risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker. Risk of heart attack becomes similar to that of someone who has never smoked.

To Help Yourself Quit

  • Choose a day to stop and stop completely on that day - get rid of cigarettes, ashtrays and lighters.
  • Tell everyone that you are stopping - they can offer encouragement and support if you are struggling.
  • Take it a day at a time, each day aim for just one more day.
  • Identify times that you usually smoke and ensure that you have something to occupy you. · Some people find that nicotine gum or patches help the initial withdrawal.
  • Think positive say you are a nonsmoker - not a smoker who has given up.
  • Save the cigarette money and buy yourself a reward.
  • Stay stopped - remember how well you have done so far, and how much healthier you will be.
  • Remember many people have to try several times before they succeed in stopping for good. It's a strong addiction but don't give up trying - ask your family doctor for help.
  • Every day without a cigarette is a triumph.
    Make today your quit day!