Why stop smoking?

There are so many reasons to stop smoking

The health benefits are hard to ignore, people who stop smoking live longer and feel better both mentally and physically, not to mention having a healthier bank balance. So, it’s easy to see why so many people have stopped. Knowing which reasons are most important to you will help you to stay focused and quit for good.

Big Benefits

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been smoking or how many cigarettes you smoke a day, stop smoking now and you will see the immediate benefits.

Better health

You will be more likely to live longer and stay well.  Your risk of cancer will fall.

Saving money

An average 10 a day smoker spends around £40 a week, that’s over £2000 a year.

Improved Mental Health

Positive mood improves and depression, anxiety and stress levels are lowered.

Healthier pregnancy

Lower risk of miscarriage, low birth weight or still birth.

Protecting loved ones

You will no longer create second hand smoke which causes a risk of smoking-related diseases in others.

Improved sex life

Reduce the likelihood of erectile disfunction and have firmer more reliable erections.

Smoke free families & second hand smoke

Passive smoking

Second-hand smoke is damaging to health and can be lethal.

  • There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke. The effects are immediate.
  • Most of the smoke from a cigarette goes into the air from the tip of the cigarette and not into the lungs of the smoker and most exposure to second hand smoke happens at home.
  • Smoke can spread from room to room and stay in the air for hours, even if you open the windows.

Did you know?

Most cigarette smoke is invisible and odourless.

  • There is even thirdhand smoke, these are the harmful chemicals from a cigarette that builds up on furniture.
  • Smoke can stay in the house for up to 5 hours, smoking in one room only or out of the window does not protect your family.
  • The smoke contains 7000, toxins, irritants, and cancer-causing substances.

Smoking parents

Children of smoking parents are more likely to be admitted to hospital for bronchitis and pneumonia in their first year.

  • Kids have a higher risk of developing meningitis, allergies, and asthma.
  • It is illegal to smoke in a car with anyone under the age of 18.
  • Do not forget your pets. Any pet – dog, cat, bird, guinea pigs and even fish can all be impacted by second hand smoke.


Harm to lungs can last for up to 3 hours after exposure.

smoking in a car with a child

Stop smoking in pregnancy

Stopping smoking is the most important thing you can do for yourself and your baby. There is no safe amount of smoking when pregnant.

Smoking when you are pregnant:

  • impacts how a baby grows and develops
  • reduces birth weight
  • increases the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)
  • can cause premature birth
  • up to 5000 miscarriages a year and 2,200 premature births a year
  • higher risk of stillbirth
  • smoking while pregnant makes long-term health problems more likely
  • more risk of cleft lip/palate
  • linked to ADHD
  • linked to psychological problems in childhood, disruptive behaviour, and poor educational performance
  • babies are more likely to suffer from infections in the airways and ears
  • the money you save on cigarettes can be spent on your baby.
Pregnant lady holding her belly

Smoking when pregnant

If you are pregnant or planning to have children, a Feel Good Suffolk advisor can help.
You will also find support through your local NHS.

If you are planning to become pregnant, quitting smoking will increase your fertility, make your labour easier and ensure your baby is born at a healthy weight.

If members of your household smoke, second hand smoke is a risk to your unborn baby. Help is available to help them quit too.

Stop before your Op/Going to Hospital

Having surgery

If you are having surgery one of the most important things, you can do before the procedure is to stop smoking. This is because smokers are more likely to suffer complications during and following surgery than non-smokers.

Quitting before surgery

– reduces the risk of complications after your operation.

– reduces lung, heart, and wound-related complications.

– decreases wound healing time.

– reduces the average length of stay in hospital

– Examples of surgical risks for smokers.

What does anaesthesia do?

Smokers need a higher dose of anaesthetic than non-smokers during operations to reduce coughing and spasms. Also, tobacco smoke damages the cilia in the lungs which helps to clear mucus from the lungs. Smokers are more likely to suffer from pneumonia after an operation as a result.

Back Surgery

Smokers’ bones are slower to grow and repair than non-smokers’ bones. When smokers need surgery to fuse the vertebrae in the back, they are 3 to 4 times more likely to have problems. The bones must build new bone cells. Non-smokers’ bones can grow 1cm every 2 months. Smokers can take 3 months to grow the same amount of bone on average.

Plastic and reconstructive surgery

Slowing down the healing of wounds is a big problem for this surgery, as it usually involves the transfer of flaps of skin from one part of the body to another. To survive, the skin needs a healthy blood supply and lots of oxygen and smokers have a reduced blood flow, the skin being transferred has a much lower chance of survival. Smokers have about 12.5 times greater risk of plastic surgery not being successful.

If you don’t quit before surgery. You are more likely than a non-smoker to have:

  • lung and heart complications
  • infection after the operation
  • problems with wound healing
  • longer hospital stays and higher drug doses
  • to be admitted to an intensive care unit.
  • to go back to the hospital as an emergency readmission.

You will have less oxygen to help with healing. Healing is helped by oxygen in the blood reaching the wound. But nicotine tightens blood vessels and reduces the amount of blood reaching the wound. Then the carbon monoxide in the smoke robs the blood of oxygen. Nicotine damages red blood cells and makes platelets sticky.

Platelets are a type of blood cell needed for clotting. This can lead to many small blood clots in the site of the wound. This reduces the blood flow to the area and slows the healing process.

Need help to stop smoking? Find support local to you

Feel Good Suffolk Advisors are there to offer support and advice on stopping smoking, healthy weight and being more active. They will tell you about the services available, tell you about what other options there are in your local area and community and guide you through on-line self-help.

They can also advise you on the eligibility criteria for more intensive levels of support around managing a healthy weight, stopping smoking and being more active.