Everybody knows that smoking is bad for your health, yet millions of people light up a cigarette each day. We know that smoking can cause lung cancer, but did you know that it can also affect every organ in your body?
Smoking – the facts
The NHS report that smoking harms nearly every organ in your body from your lungs, stomach, heart and throat to your skin, bones and brain.
In fact, smoking is the biggest cause of preventable deaths in England, accounting for nearly 80,000 deaths each year. One in two smokers will die from a smoking-related disease – that statistic alone is enough to make you want to quit smoking!
Smoking damages your heart and blood circulation, this increases your risk of conditions such as a heart attack, stroke, heart disease, peripheral vascular disease and cerebrovascular disease.
The NHS report that smoking doubles your risk of having a heart attack, and if you smoke you have twice the rise of dying from coronary heart disease than lifetime non-smokers.
Why you should quit smoking
Statistics show that after just one year of quitting smoking, your risk of heart related problems is cut in half. After stopping for 15 years, your risk is similar to that of someone who has never smoked – these are the kind of statistics we like!
- Within 20 minutes – your heart rate and blood pressure start to fall
- 12 hours – the carbon monoxide level in your blood falls to normal
- 2-12 weeks – you will start to see improvements in your circulation, your lung function also increases
- 1-9 months – coughing and shortness of breath will start to decrease
- 1 year – your risk of coronary heart disease is about half that of a smoker
- 5 years – the risk of having a stroke is reduced to that of a non-smoker
- 10 years – your risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker
- 15 years – your risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker
How can you quit smoking?
The first and most important step to quit smoking is to control your cravings, if you can control your cravings for a cigarette, you will boost your chances of quitting for good. To manage your cravings, you need to decide which route you would like to go down, cold turkey, or nicotine replacement therapy.
It is important to note that only 3 in every 100 smokers manage to quit smoking cold turkey, but if you have the willpower of a saint, then it’s worth a shot.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
The NHS states that the most effective way to tackle cravings and quit smoking is a combination of Nicotine Replacement Therapy and behavioural changes.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy includes patches, lozenges, nasel spray and gum. It is usually advised to use patches alongside either lozenges, the spray or the gum.
You can purchase NRT’s in your local supermarket or chemist, or you can get a prescription from your doctor.
The FDA has also approved two different medications as a smoking cessation aid. One is bupropion, this is sold under the names Wellbutrin and Zyban. The other is varenicline, sold under the names Chantix or Champix.
For these you will need to book an appointment with your doctor or attend a stop smoking clinic.
It is a common misconception that e-cigarettes are unsafe, especially with the spread of misinformation and all the noise in the US at the moment regarding their safety. However, in the UK E-cigs go through rigorous testing and are tightly regulated, they are very safe to use, and they carry a small fraction of the risk of cigarettes.
E-cigarettes do not produce tar or carbon monoxide; these are the two most harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke.
E-cigarettes are less harmful than traditional cigarettes – Leading health organisations such as Cancer Research and the British Medical Association agree that e-cigarettes are at least 95% less harmful than cigarettes. Making them a great tool to quit smoking.
E-cigarettes don’t contain harmful chemicals – While vaping products contain nicotine, it doesn’t contain tobacco – this is what causes cancer, while nicotine is an addictive substance, it doesn’t cause cancer and the stats show that e-cigarettes are helping people to quit tobacco for good.
E-cigarettes are helping people quit smoking – A major clinical trial published in 2019 found that, when combined with expert face-to-face support, people who used e-cigarettes to quit smoking were twice as likely to succeed over people who used other nicotine replacement.
For more information on e-cigarettes or how to quit smoking with e-cigarettes, drop us a message and we’d be happy to help!