It’s never too late to quit smoking – that’s the message in the run up to No Smoking Day 2022 – and the benefits can be felt within 20 minutes.

Being smokefree can bring significant health benefits to almost anyone at any age as the body begins to recover. Quitting can also save you a packet and help you feel more relaxed within weeks.

Many people try to quit “cold turkey” but getting support can really boost your chances of quitting – you’re up to three times more likely to succeed.

There are lots of products available to help you such as nicotine replacement therapy or switching to a vape/e-cig to reduce some of the stress and anxiety that cravings can temporarily cause. Our NHS Stop Smoking practitioners can advise on the best products for you as well as help you develop your own personal quit plan.

Stopping smoking can also reduce stress and boost your mental wellbeing, something which is sure to motivate many to quit after a tense and stressful period of uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

According to NHS Better Health, here is how your body recovers when you become smokefree:

After 20 minutes

Your pulse rate starts to return to normal.

After 8 hours    

Your oxygen levels are recovering, and the level of harmful carbon monoxide in your blood will have reduced by half.

After 48 hours

All carbon monoxide is out of your body. Your lungs are clearing out mucus and your senses of taste and smell are improving.

After 72 hours

If you notice that breathing feels easier, it’s because your bronchial tubes have started to relax. Also, your energy will be increasing.

After 2-12 weeks

Blood will be pumping through to your heart and muscles more efficiently because your circulation will have improved.

After 6 weeks

Research shows ex-smokers who have quit for at least 6 weeks have improved mental wellbeing than those who continue to smoke.

After 3-9 months

Any coughs, wheezing or breathing problems will be improving as your lung function increases.

After 1 year

Great news! Your risk of heart attack will have halved compared with a smoker’s.

After 10 years

Your risk of death from lung cancer will have halved compared with that of a smoker.

More ways to quit than ever

With the right support, quitting smoking needn’t be stressful. There are many quitting aids available to help you beat your addiction and reduce cravings:

Nicotine Replacement Therapy provides you with a low level of nicotine, without the tar, carbon monoxide and other poisonous chemicals in tobacco smoke. It can help reduce withdrawal effects, such as bad moods and cravings which may occur when you stop smoking. Using a patch PLUS a faster-acting type of NRT like mouth spray, gum, lozenge or inhalator gives you a better chance of stopping smoking than using one type of NRT alone.

 Bupropion (brand name Zyban) is a medicine originally used to treat depression, but it has since been found to help people quit smoking. It’s not clear exactly how it works, but it’s thought to have an effect on the parts of the brain involved in addictive behaviour.

Vaping allows people to inhale nicotine without most of the harmful effects of smoking, as the vapour contains no tar or carbon monoxide. Research has found that e-cigarettes can help you give up smoking, so you may want to try them rather than the medications listed above.

If you’ve been thinking about making the switch to vaping but you’re not sure it’s for you, check out Paul’s vaping success story for reassurance.

Research has shown that all these methods can really boost your chances of quitting successfully. What’s more, evidence shows that they are most effective if used alongside support from an NHS stop smoking service.

Smokefree savings

Quitting smoking really does lead to a richer life in more ways than one. Here’s an example of what an average smoker would save by quitting and some thoughts on how to better spend that money:

  • One week’s savings – around £36.
  • Two weeks’ savings – around £72.
  • Three weeks’ savings – around £109 would pay for a family food shop.
  • Four weeks’ savings of £144 would buy a premium Netflix subscription for a year [Source: Netflix].
  • If you want to be more active as a family, six months’ savings of £949 could buy bikes for a family of four [Source: Halfords].
  • £1,899 saved in a year could give you a deposit on a new car, or even a holiday.

Use this handy quit calculator tool to find out how much you’ve spent on cigarettes.

If you would like advice and support to quit smoking you can contact the One You Plymouth team today and we can help you take the first steps to becoming smokefree. Call 01752 437177 or email [email protected].