The second Wednesday in March marks No Smoking Day, an annual
campaign that raises awareness about the health dangers associated with smoking, and the benefits of quitting smoking for good.
Smoking is a leading factor in many causes of death and chronic disease, including cancer, respiratory and heart diseases. The World Health Organisation highlight that tobacco use will kill up to half of its users, and is responsible for around 8 million deaths a year.
The Covid-19 pandemic presents a good reason to take advantage of this global campaign.
Smokers are more predisposed to getting lung and chest infections compared with non-smokers, which puts them at a greater risk of severe illness due to Covid-19. Smoking also affects the entire immune system, delaying healing and making it harder to fight infection. In addition, the hand-to-mouth action of smoking and e-cigarette use increases the number of times you may touch your face and mouth, further increasing susceptibility to COVID-19 infection.
Stopping smoking is the best decision you can make for improving the health of your own body, and for those who passively smoke around you. It may not be easy, but you are up to 4 times more likely to successfully quit with support.
The GHA offers a free ‘Stop Smoking Service’ – Call 200 52441 to make an appointment.
The British Heart
Foundation recommends these ten top tips:
1. Pick a quit date – Choose a day that will be stress-free, and stick to it.
2. Make a list – Write down all the reasons you want to quit; keep the list handy and read it when the cravings start (Learn more about how to set goals that work).
3. Build a support network – Pair up with someone else who is looking to give up smoking and support each other.
4. Remove any reminders – Before your quit date, get rid of ashtrays, lighters and matches, and any remaining cigarettes.
5. Use stop smoking services – Contact your local Stop Smoking Service for support from trained specialists.
6. Try nicotine replacement therapy – Consider using nicotine replacement therapy, which can more than double your chances of stopping smoking (Read about e-cigarettes and whether they can help quit smoking).
7. Start moving – Scientific studies have proven that exercising for even for short periods cuts the urge to smoke and may even help your brain produce anti-craving chemicals (Get inspiration for getting active; watch an animation about what happens in your body when you exercise).
8. Avoid trigger situations – Anticipate stressful or trigger situations (e.g. if you tend to smoke after a meal, go for a short walk instead).
9. Practise saying “no” – Don’t be tempted by just one cigarette; it often leads to another.
10. Treat yourself – Put away some, or all, of the money you would have spent on cigarettes and buy something special.
For more information on smoking visit: https://healthygibraltar.org/quit-smoking/