​Today Is National No Smoking Day – Here's How You Can Get Help To Quit

The NHS is marking National No Smoking Day with a nationwide plea, urging smokers to use the opportunity as the 'perfect time' to kick the habit.

It is estimated that smoking still kills around 100,000 people across the UK each year, with the practice linked to an increase in the risk of more than 50 serious health conditions, including various cancers, cardiovascular disease, stroke and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease - an umbrella term for progressive lung diseases like emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and non-reversible asthma.

It remains one of the biggest causes of death and illness in the country.

Along with the effect of smoking on your health, it's also known for being a pretty pricey pastime. On average, most people who quit end up saving around £250 each month, which works out as nearly £3,000 a year.

Quitting can also save smokers a great deal of cash. Credit: PA
Quitting can also save smokers a great deal of cash. Credit: PA

Of course, quitting isn't always straightforward for many people, thanks to the addictive nature of nicotine, and the habits that form from long-term smoking.

But even finding support can be a seriously personal process, as what might work for one person might not be as effective for another.

With this in mind, the NHS has created a Personal Quit Plan, which is a personalised platform that helps smokers work out the specific support they'll need.

Some people try nicotine gum to help curb cravings. Credit: PA
Some people try nicotine gum to help curb cravings. Credit: PA

Along with asking about how many cigarettes you tend to smoke in a day and how quickly you crave one at the beginning of the day, the platform will also consider any other tactics you've previously tried - whether that's face-to-face support from a GP, pharmacist or stop smoking service; e-cigarettes or vaping; patches, gum, lozenges, spray or any other form of nicotine replacement therapy; tablets like Zyban or Champix; or simply willpower alone.

Some people decide to try and kick the habit using e-cigarettes. Credit: PA
Some people decide to try and kick the habit using e-cigarettes. Credit: PA

Other self-help tips include keeping your hands and mouth busy, socialising with non-smokers more often, increasing your exercise and identifying the times when you crave a nicotine hit - whether that's after a meal, when you're stressed or when you've been on the beers.

According to the NHS One You site, changes begin within 48 hours of taking a toke on that final cigarette... So what are you waiting for?!

Featured Image Credit: PA

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman is a journalist who graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Film Studies, English Language and Literature, and has previously worked for Time Out and The Skinny among others.

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