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, including in factories, work vehicles, private membership clubs, offices, and on public transport, as well as in licensed premises such as bars, pubs and restaurants. To find out more, contact Fresh (Smoke Free North East)
The Benefits of Giving Up Smoking
There are many good reasons to stop smoking:
- your risk of serious diseases such as cancer and heart disease will reduce significantly
- you will have a healthier pregnancy
- it will prevent you having a long term health condition
- it will help with weight management
- you will be able to breathe more easily and your circulation will improve
- your breath will be fresher
- you will save money
- your energy levels will increase
- your sense of taste and smell will improve
- your house, clothes and hair will no longer smell of stale smoke
- you will sleep better
- it will prevent the effects of passive smoking on adults and children in your household
If you stop 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 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.
Other Useful Information
- Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)
- Stop smoking – an NHS online article
- Newcastle City Council stop smoking page
- Age UK’s Guide to Healthy Living
- The NHS Health Check is a health check-up for adults in England aged 40-74. It’s designed to spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes or dementia. As we get older, we have a higher risk of developing one of these conditions. An NHS Health Check helps find ways to lower this risk.
Last updated: January 7, 2021