Information Unlimited: All the facts you need to avoid heartache No.8 Quitting Smoking

EVERY DAY 300 people in the UK die as a direct result of smoking. Though 3 out of 5 smokers say they want to quit, 30 per cent of women and 31 per cent of men still smoke. 1,000 smokers in Britain give up every day.

Smoking - what happens

Although people say they use cigarettes to help them relax, they actually have the opposite effect. Smoking releases chemicals into the bloodstream which stimulate the brain and the nervous system, and increase heart rate and blood pressure. As the nicotine levels in the body drop, smokers become edgy and have to satisfy their needs with another cigarette.

Why are cigarettes bad for you?

Nicotine, carbon monoxide and tar are the three main components of tobacco smoke. Nicotine is a highly addictive drug, carbon monoxide is the gas that car exhausts emit and tar is, well tar, which sticks to the lining of your lungs and makes it difficult for you to breathe. The other 4000 chemicals in tobacco smoke have been linked with human cancers and coronary heart disease.

Passive smoking

The smoke that a person exhales (mainstream smoke) and the smoke from the burning end of their cigarette (sidestream smoke) pollutes the air and is in turn breathed in by other people in the room. Because of the risk, smoking is now banned in many enclosed public places, offices and on public transport. The Health and Safety at work etc. Act 1974 is there to protect your right to a safe working environment. Being exposed to other peoples' smoke is a violation of that right and you can threaten to sue your employer if they fail to take action. Research shows that long-term passive smoking increases risk of death from lung cancer by up to 30 per cent. Smokers' children are more susceptible to bronchitis, asthma, allergies, eye, ear, nose and throat infections and are twice as likely to smoke themselves.

Stopping

Decide on a date to stop and stick to it.

Destroy anything to do with smoking; cigarettes, ashtrays, lighters etc.

Clean your clothes and air your home to get rid of the smell

Keep busy and change your routine so that you avoid situations that trigger your desire to smoke.

Remember the urge to smoke will pass in about five minutes.

Chew sugar free gum.

Eat fruit and drink water. This will help to speed the detoxification process.

Avoid alcohol which is a cardio-vascular dilator and increases your desire to smoke.

Take up exercise. Swap a bad habit for a good one.

It will take about three months before you begin to think of yourself as a non-smoker.

Nicotine Replacement Therapies

There are many different products available on the market, but there are two main types, those that contain nicotine (Nicotine replacement therapy, NRT) and those that don't.These aids won't stop you smoking but they may help you stay stopped.

1. The Patch: Applied like a plaster, it releases a continual supply of nicotine at a low dose into your bloodstream. It costs about pounds 15 per week.

2. Gum: Comes in different strengths and releases an immediate dose of nicotine which can help during a bad urge. It costs about pounds 15 per week.

3. Nasal Spray: Nicotine nasal sprays are only available on prescription. Use 10/15 times a day.

4. Inhalator: Nicotine is released into the mouth through a simulated cigarette. Costs up to pounds 25 per week.

Feeling the benefit

8 hours after your last cigarette the oxygen levels in your body return to normal.

24 hours later, the carbon monoxide is gone from your bloodstream and the lungs start to clear.

48 hours later there is no nicotine in your system and your sense of taste and smell will improve.

After 2-12 weeks you will see an improvement in your breathing and circulation.

After three months wheezing subsides and lung function can increase by up to 10%.

After 5 years you are 50% less likely to suffer a heart attack than a smoker.

After 10 years you are 50% less likely to get lung cancer than a smoker.

Quitline freephone 0800 002200

ASH - Action on smoking and health - 0171 224 0743 or visit their website on http://www.ash.org.uk

Lifesaver website on www.lifesaver.co.uk

`Women Unlimited - The Directory for Life', Penguin pounds 9.99

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Chloe-Jasmine Whicello impressed the judges and the audience at Wembley Arena with a sultry performance
TVReview: Who'd have known Simon was such a Roger Rabbit fan?
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams plays 'bad ass' Arya Stark in Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne modelling

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam