Stop smoking

Why stop smoking?

Stopping 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. 
woman inhaling smoke from a man smoking

FACT

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

smoking in a car with a child

Stop smoking when pregnant

Stopping smoking is the most important thing you can do for yourself and your baby. Smoking when pregnant…

  • There is no safe amount of smoking when pregnant
  • Reduces birth weight
  • Increases the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)
  • Can cause premature birth
  • Carbon monoxide impacts how a baby grows and develops
  • Smoking while pregnant makes long-term health problems more likely
  • Up to 5000, miscarriages a year and 2,200 premature births a year
  • The money you save on cigarettes can be spent on your baby
  • Higher risk of stillbirth
  • 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.
Pregnant lady holding her belly

If you are pregnant or planning to have children, a Feel Good Suffolk advisor has all the essential tools available to help you kick the habit.

If you are planning to conceive, 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, secondhand smoke is a risk to your unborn baby. Help is available to help them quit too.

graphic of the brain in pink and blue

The science behind nicotine addiction

Nicotine is a mind-altering drug.

  • It affects the brain in several different ways and changes it over the long term.
  • It increases the production of neurotransmitters that affect brain functions.
  • It causes the release of noradrenaline which stimulates the brain and produces a slight buzz.
  • It is thought to improve focus by increasing acetylcholine.
  • It increases beta-endorphin production which relieves anxiety, giving nicotine some calming effects as well as stimulating effects.
  • It also has long-term effects on the dopamine system, which is involved in reward, mood, and addiction.
  • Smokers are more stressed over the day than non-smokers because of their nicotine dependency and the relaxation a cigarette gives is a temporary relief from that increased stress.
  • After a cigarette people who are addicted will begin the cycle of gradually worsening mood, increased irritability, and rising craving, until the next cigarette.
  • Nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs.
    Nicotine excites the brain’s reward circuitry, making them ‘moreish.’
  • In the long term, the brain re-tunes itself to having its chemistry altered and the effect of going too long without nicotine becomes increasingly punishing.
  • Social and cultural factors can also make it easy to become a smoker and hard to quit.
  • If you have smokers in your family or circle of friends you are more likely to become addicted yourself, which has an impact if you are trying to quit.
  • Nicotine withdrawal can be very unpleasant, but it is not physically harmful.

Myth busting

  • Smoking reduces stress.
  • Nicotine does make you relax, but nicotine addiction causes stress and worsening mood the longer it has been since the last cigarette, in fact, a smoker suffers more stress than a non-smoker.
  • Occasional or social smoking is harmless. It is far less harmful than heavy smoking, but any amount of smoking increases the risk of suffering from a huge range of diseases, many of them fatal.
  • Occasional smoking is more likely to end in regular smoking. Many smokers started this way. They thought they were in control until they were not.
  • Nicotine itself is harmless, it is the smoke that causes the damage. Although there are lots of toxic and damaging chemicals in the smoke it is important not to discount nicotine.
  • Nicotine has harmful effects on blood vessels and its many effects on the brain, including addiction, can negatively affect your mood and could alter your behaviour towards other addictive substances or activities.

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.

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