It’s good to find out what expert help, advice and support is available when the time comes that you decide to quit smoking. The Smokefree website is your first stop for information. Another good and reliable website is How to stop smoking at Cancer Research UK.
Facts about smoking
78,000 people died from smoking related illnesses in 2014.
Can you believe that almost half of us smoked back in 1974 (44%).
That figure was down to 19% by 2014 but it's still too high.
475,000 people had to be admitted to hospital in 2014/15 for smoking related causes.
It’s estimated that over 8% of 15 year olds are smokers.
14% of women smoke during pregnancy. That’s one in seven.
It’s the biggest preventable killer in England.
It causes premature death, cancers, circulatory diseases and respiratory diseases.
Of every two people who smoke, one will die prematurely.
Half those deaths will be in middle age.
Even smokers who survive still lose about 16 years life expectancy, on average.
Smokers also suffer poor health more than non-smokers.
Smoking while you are pregnant
Infant mortality risk to your baby jumps by about 40%.
If all pregnant women stopped smoking, infant mortality could immediately drop by 10%, it has been estimated.
Smoking a cigarette introduces carbon monoxide into your bloodstream. This disrupts oxygen supply to the foetus for 15 seconds. It means that your baby’s oxygen flow is reduced for a full 15 minutes afterwards.
Smoking increases the risk of:
- Sudden infant death syndrome
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Perinatal mortality
- Preterm delivery
- Development of cleft lip and cleft palate in children
- Placenta praevia
- Premature rupture of the membranes
- Placental abruption
- Low birth weight
Second hand smoke
Non-smokers suffer ill effects from second hand smoke.
These include reduced blood flow to the heart and a higher risk of developing cancer and heart disease.
Children suffer even more because their little bodies are still developing and their organs are smaller.
Want to stop smoking?
The big majority of smokers do want to stop – 63% or about two thirds say they wish they could quit and many more say they wish they had never started smoking in the first place.
You will get loads of help and support
You have plenty of help and support to draw on, so never feel as though you are on your own.
In fact, your chances of success increase fourfold when you engage with your local stop smoking service. That is a massive difference compared with going it alone.
Local services have been developed by experts and are manned by highly trained health professionals. They know what they are doing and they understand exactly what help you need to succeed. It’s also completely free of charge.
Some of the things they can do for free include:
- Draw up a personal plan of action for quitting that is tailored to your needs and lifestyle.
- Medication options that greatly help to reduce cravings (available on prescription – free for over 60s and people in receipts of benefits)
- Tips for sticking with your resolve to quit even if you falter occasionally
- You can use their carbon monoxide monitor to track your improvement
Everybody behaves differently when starting to actually quit, and everybody responds differently to different support activities. That’s why you can choose from one-to-one sessions, group sessions or telephone support.
Sessions take place at many locations and at different times during the day and evening. You can either make an appointment to book a place or just drop in when you know the times.
Take your first step now
Freephone your local Stop Smoking Service on 0800 328 6297 (free on both landlines and mobiles) or click this link for the NHS Quit Squad.