Sun 01 Oct 2023
Starting on 1 October quit smoking this Stoptober. There’s never been a better time to quit. Stopping smoking is the best thing you can do for your own health and those around you. Research has shown that if you quit for 28 days, you’re 5 times more likely to quit for good. For more details click here.
Many people who quit smoking are surprised by how good they feel. They feel more relaxed, have more money, they look and feel better, their skin looks healthier and they have more energy when they do something active like going for a walk or playing with their children, they no longer smell of smoke and they are not as worried about their health.
When you stop smoking, your lungs will start to repair and you’ll start to be able to breathe easier. The sooner you quit, the sooner you’ll notice the positive changes to your body and health.
Some of the benefits will be felt almost immediately and in the long term the benefits will be lifesaving:
- After a day – Your oxygen levels will recover, and the harmful carbon monoxide level in your blood will reduce by half.
- After 2 days – Nicotine will be totally eliminated from the body and your senses of taste and smell will improve.
- After 3 days – Your breathing will become easier as the airways begin to relax. Your energy levels will also increase.
- After 2 to 4 weeks – Blood will pump through to your heart and muscles much better because your circulation will improve, meaning you can walk and run easier.
- After 3 to 9 months – Your lung function will improve by up to 10 %, meaning any coughs, wheezing or breathing problems you have will improve.
- After 1 to 3 years – Your risk of having a heart attack will have halved compared to a smoker’s.
- After 10 years – Your risk of death from lung cancer will have halved compared with a smoker’s.
You will save money – giving up a pack of cigarettes a day could save you around £4,000 a year.
Stopping smoking tips
- List your reasons to quit and when you are struggling and feel like you need to smoke, read through the reasons.
- Tell people you’re quitting; your friends and family can then support you.
- Use stop smoking aids, like nicotine patches and gum.
- Have a plan if you are tempted to smoke; this should include someone you can talk to for support.
- Keep busy to help reduce the cravings. Click here for more help with cravings.
- Regularly exercise, as studies show that exercise reduces the urge to smoke, it also strengthens your heart and lungs.
- If you have tried to quit before, remember what worked and learn from what didn’t.
- Use support groups for help and advice.
Try using the free NHS Stoptober App, click here for more details.
Further help and advice:
It's never too late to quit
During Stoptober you may also want to consider stopping or reducing items in of your lifestyle, like the amount of alcohol you drink or the amount of time you spend gambling. Which can both contribute to poor mental health.
Gambling can lead to problem debt. Having a gambling problem can also have a devastating impact on your relationships with other people.
It is important to speak to professionals if you are concerned about your gambling, call the National Gambling Helpline on Freephone 0808 8020 133, advisers are available 24 hours a day. For more information read our guide here.
There are many benefits to reducing the amount of alcohol you're drinking, including feeling more energetic, better mood, an improved immune system and better sleep.
Here are some tips on cutting down:
- Set your limit - plan ahead how much you're going to drink.
- Set your budget - once its spent, stop drinking.
- Tell your friends and family - they will then be there for support.
- Reduce the size - go from a double to a single or from a pint to a half.
- Reduce the strength - swap to a lower strength beer or wine.
- A little at a time - take one day at a time, this will make you more likely to be successful.
- Take a break - have several drink-free days each week. You may decide to only drink at the weekend and not in the week.
For more help:
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