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Giving up smoking

Most people know that smoking damages your health. It is the biggest cause of death and illness in the UK. Giving up smoking is the single greatest thing you can do to improve your health and the advantages are immediate. No matter how old you are, it’s never too late to feel the benefits.

Smoking is now banned in nearly all enclosed public spaces and work places in England. This includes factories, work vehicles, private membership clubs, offices, public transport, licensed premises such as bars, pubs and restaurants. To find out more, contact Fresh (Smoke Free North East)

Good reasons to stop smoking

  • Your risk of serious diseases such as cancer and heart disease will reduce significantly
  • You’ll have a healthier pregnancy
  • It can help stop you developing a long term health condition
  • It will help with weight management
  • You’ll be able to breathe more easily and your circulation will improve
  • Your breath will be fresher
  • You’ll save money
  • Increased energy levels
  • Improved sense of taste and smell
  • Your house, clothes and hair will no longer smell of stale smoke
  • You will sleep better
  • Other children and adults in your house will not be passive smoking and so they will be heathier

Benefits of quitting smoking

  • After 20 minutes your blood pressure and pulse rate return to normal.
  • After 8 hours the oxygen levels in your blood return to normal.
  • After 24 hours carbon monoxide disappears from your system and the build-up of tar starts to clear from your lungs.
  • After 48 hours all nicotine will have left your body.
  • After 72 hours your sense of taste and smell will have returned.
  • After 4 weeks your circulation improves and you experience more energy.
  • After 3 months coughs, wheezing and breathing problems will have improved.
  • After 1 year the risk of a heart attack will be half that of a smoker.
  • After 10 years the risk of dying from lung cancer will be half that of a smoker.
  • After 15 years the risk of a heart attack is similar to that of someone who has never smoked.

How to stop smoking

There are many ways to give up smoking. Different methods work for different people, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t succeed the first time you try to stop. Here are some of the most common methods:

  • E-cigarettes (also known as a vapouriser, e-cigs or vape) are considered effective in stopping smoking. An e-cigarette ( is a device that allows you to inhale nicotine in a vapour rather than smoke. E-cigarettes don’t burn tobacco and don’t produce tar or carbon monoxide, two of the most damaging elements in tobacco smoke. E-cigarettes work by heating a solution (e-liquid) that typically contains nicotine, propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerine and flavourings.
  • Willpower: It takes a lot of determination, but with the help of your family and friends it will be easier. After the first two or three weeks of not smoking you will start to feel the benefits and withdrawal symptoms will lessen.
  • Stop smoking medicines: Champix tablets (varenicline); Zyban tablets (bupropion) and nicotine replacement therapies (NRT), including patches, gum, lozenges, microtabs, inhalators and nasal sprays

Local help and support

Change Grow Live run the appointed Newcastle Stop Smoking Service.  They can offer one-to-one support and group sessions. They can signpost you to a range of services for people who are trying to give up smoking.

Quit 16  website demonstrates the link between smoking and cancer.

Smoke Free provide a range of online resources to help you give up smoking.

British Lung Foundation runs local exercise classes for people living with a lung condition and for those who look after them.

Stoptober runs from 1st to 31st October calling on smokers in England to join the 2.3 million others who have quit smoking. Stoptober has a range of free quitting tools including: the NHS Quit Smoking app, Facebook messenger bot, Stoptober Facebook online communities, daily emails and SMS, and an online Personal Quit Plan. The Personal Quit Plan helps people find a combination of support that’s right for them, including expert support from local Stop Smoking Services and stop smoking aids.

Smoke Free App can help motivate you to stop smoking. It’s available for both android and apple devices. The app can help you:

  • with personalised advice on the best stop smoking methods for you
  • see the money you save with every cigarette you don’t buy
  • watch how your body gets cleaner and healthier, the longer you are smoke free
  • tackle cigarette cravings before they happen by using quit smoking techniques that work
  • motivate you with to earn Achievement Badges
  • track your quit progress and log successful smoke free days

The app is free to download, but there may be ads or in app purchases available. You can cancel your subscription at any time in your App store.

Other useful information

Last updated: April 14, 2022

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