Thursday, October 1, 2015
Every big change you make starts with the first step, and that first step doesn’t need to be a big one. Just a small step in the right direction can lead you down the path of change for the better, and when that step can improve your health, it’s certainly one worth taking.
Designed to help smokers take that first step towards kicking the habit for good, Stoptober, an annual campaign from the NHS, aims to help thousands of people quit smoking by offering support and advice throughout the event in many forms. Statistics show that if you stop smoking for 28 days, you are 5 times more likely to quit for good and that is the main reason behind this initiative.
The idea behind Stoptober is to help smokers decide upon and take their first steps towards a smoke-free life. While the campaign promotes stopping smoking for the month of October, it is more important that the event helps smokers to take that first decision to lead a healthier lifestyle. Deciding to make a change is often the hardest part and finding where to turn to for advice and help can be daunting and scary. This is often what puts smokers off quitting in the first place. Stoptober however aims to provide an open and easy route to guidance and support in giving up cigarettes for good.
There is plenty of information out there and most of us are now well aware of the dangers of smoking. Heart problems including increased risk of heart attack, lung and breathing problems and of course cancer, are all known side effects of smoking, so the sooner you can kick the habit the better it will be for your health. Quitting smoking can have an impact on your health almost overnight. While the effects of smoking can be catastrophic, the good news is that once you have stopped, you can see the health benefits very quickly.
Quitting smoking can leave you with an improved sense of smell and taste, and can also help you sleep better at night as your body won’t be battling the effects of the chemicals found in cigarettes. Lung capacity improves and blood pressure and circulation will also improve. Smokers who give up, also see a difference in the health and appearance of their skin, teeth and gums.
The benefits of quitting smoking stretch further than just the health advantages. Quitting smoking can save you hundreds of pounds a year. Put aside the money you would spend on cigarettes and watch it mount up and you will soon wonder how on earth you managed to afford to smoke in the first place. You will also notice when you quit that your clothes, hair, car and home will all smell better and others will notice it too. Also, let’s not forget you won’t have to keep nipping outside when out with friends every time you fancy a cigarette; stay inside as part of the group and you will be sure not to miss gossip, stories or jokes.
When you are considering quitting smoking, it is important that you do it in a way that will help you to kick the habit for good. Some smokers are able to go completely cold turkey and never touch a cigarette again. However, for heavy smokers, this method can lead to withdrawal symptoms and often leads to the smoker starting up again. If you smoke a large amount of cigarettes a day, then take quitting a step at a time. Reduce the amount of cigarettes you smoke each day slowly, bit by bit until you can go days without needing that nicotine fix. This way, you are much more likely to quit for good.
If you are thinking about stopping smoking, then it is always advisable to talk to a health professional. Speak to our GP, she will be able to offer helpful advice and tips on how best to stop smoking and come up with a plan which will suit you. You may benefit from nicotine replacements such as gum or patches and Dr Helen Webberley will be able to advise you on this.
Seeking help and advice from a health professional when you are ready to start your journey to a smoke-free life will be greatly beneficial if you want to kick the habit. We can offer you guidance and support when you need it most. Quitting smoking is a big deal and having someone to help you along the way can be the extra push you need to stop smoking for good. Discover more about our stop smoking service here.