Every cigarette you smoke is harmful. 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. Every 15 cigarettes you smoke will cause a mutation in your body, mutations are how cancers start.
If you currently smoke, the best thing you can do for your health is to quit.
Below are just some of the benefits of quitting:
- Live a longer, healthier life. 50% of all long term smokers die early due to smoking related diseases such as heart disease, stroke and lung cancer. Smoking causes approximately 90% of all lung cancers.
- You will breathe more easily, within 9 months of giving up smoking you should cough less and breathe more easily as your lung capacity improves by up to 10%. This can be difference between an active, healthy old age and struggling to climb the stairs.
- Look younger, Non-smokers skin gets more nutrients and oxygen, so stopping smoking can slow facial ageing and delay the appearance of wrinkles.
- You will have more energy. Within 3 months of stopping smoking your blood circulation improves. This makes physical activity easier, can reduce tiredness and headaches.
- Improve your fertility, stopping smoking improves the lining of the womb and can improve sperm quality. Stopping smoking also decreases the chances of miscarriage.
- You could feel less stressed. Nicotine withdrawal between cigarettes can increase feelings of stress, this is because our bodies confuse the stress of withdrawal with other stresses. It may therefore feel like smoking reduces stress but the opposite is true. Scientific studies found peoples stress levels lower after they stop smoking.
- You will have an improved sense of smell and taste. As your mouth and nose stop being dulled by harmful chemicals found in cigarettes you should notice food tastes and smells better. In addition to this your general oral health should improve leading to fresher breath and whiter teeth.
- You will have younger looking skin. Stopping smoking has been found to slow facial ageing and delay the appearance of wrinkles. The skin of a smoker gets more nutrients, including oxygen, and stopping smoking can reverse the sallow, lined complexion smokers often have.
- You will be protecting your loved ones. Breathing second-hand smoke increases the risk of lung cancer, heart disease and stroke. Children who live in a smoking household are more at risk of chest infections, ear infection, asthma and are 3 times more at risk of developing lung cancer than children from smoke free homes.
Visit the NHS Smokefree website to find lots of information and resources to help you quit including a personal quit plan, a free app, email and text message support and information about stop smoking aids.
Stoptober also takes place annually and is promoted by the staff wellbeing team.