Quitting smoking may be the single most positive thing you do to improve your health. There is no age barrier to quitting, and anyone who stops smoking can enjoy many health and lifestyle benefits. We understand that quitting smoking is a very difficult thing for a person to do and we want to assure them that we can advise the best products suited to you.
Reasons to quit smoking
There are lots of good reasons to stop smoking. Smoking is bad for you – 1 in every 2 smokers worldwide will die of a tobacco-related disease.
The health benefits of quitting start right away. You’ll also be protecting your family from second-hand smoke. Smoking won’t dictate your daily routine, and it’ll be easier to keep your home and car clean.
When you stop smoking, you will:
reduce your risk of life-threatening diseases
have better skin, teeth and hair
have nicer smelling clothes
improve the air quality in your home
be a good role model for your family and friends
Smoking kills – 1 in every 2 smokers will die from a tobacco-related disease. As well as this:
- smoking takes 10 to 15 quality years off your life
- every cigarette you smoke takes 5 and a half minutes off your life
- every 6 and a half seconds someone in the world dies from smoking – that’s 1.5 million people a year
- most smokers (83%) regret starting smoking and say they wouldn’t smoke if they had the choice again
In Ireland, smoking is the leading cause of avoidable death. Nearly 6,000 people die in Ireland each year from the effects of smoking and thousands of others suffer from smoking-related diseases.
It doesn’t have to be this way for you. You can quit and we can help. You can get free support from the Quit Programme and sign up to a free, personalised Quit plan to help you stop smoking.
When you quit smoking, the health benefits start right away.
After 20 minutes
Your circulation will improve, and your blood pressure and heart rate will get lower. This immediately reduces your risk of a heart attack.
After 8 hours
The nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in your blood go down, and the oxygen level rises.
After 48 hours
The nicotine and carbon monoxide have left your body. Your sense of smell and taste will start to improve.
After 72 hours
Your breathing will improve and your energy levels will increase.
After 2-3 months
Your lung capacity could increase by up to 30%.
After 1 year
Your chance of having a heart attack drops by half.
After 5 years
The risk of smoking-related cancers is greatly reduced.
After 10 years
The risk of lung cancer is reduced by half.
After 15 years
The risk of having a heart attack is the same as a non-smoker.
If you smoke 20 cigarettes a day, a mugful of tar will build up in your lungs over the course of a year. The toxic chemicals in this tar cause cancer. When you give up smoking, your lungs quickly fight back by coughing up tar.
By stopping smoking, you can protect your family’s health as well as your own.
When you smoke, it’s not just your health that’s at risk. A smoker only inhales about 15% of the smoke from a cigarette – the other 85% is absorbed into the atmosphere or inhaled by others.
This is called secondhand smoke – you produce it whenever you light up. It’s the smoke you breathe out, and the smoke from the lit end of the cigarette. Secondhand smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals – including arsenic and cyanide (which are both poisons), and benzene, which can cause leukaemia.
Secondhand smoke contains carcinogens. These are chemicals that cause cancer. People who breathe in secondhand smoke are at increased risk of smoking-related diseases. For example, non-smoking women who live with a partner who smokes are 27% more likely to get lung cancer than non-smoking women who live with another non-smoker.
Opening a window when you smoke doesn’t make a difference. More than 80% of smoke is invisible – you can’t see where it goes or control it.
Children are especially vulnerable to secondhand smoke because they breathe more rapidly and their lungs, airways and immune system are still developing. Secondhand smoke can increase a child’s risk of:
- ear infections
Babies exposed to secondhand smoke are also at increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (cot death).
Children who grow up seeing their parents smoke are also 3 times more likely to smoke when they grow up.