Ditch the cigs – feel the benefits
It is never too late to give up smoking; with a bit of willpower and support you can become smoke free and feel the benefits, including:
- Better sex – improved blood flow increases sensitivity
- Improved fertility
- Younger and brighter skin
- Whiter teeth
- Better breathing
- Longer life
- Less stress
- Improved senses – smell and taste – so you will enjoy your food more
- More energy
- Healthier friends and family – as they won’t be breathing in your second-hand smoke!
- Saving money – a lot of money if you are a heavy smoker!
- You won’t smell of stale smoke
Your friends might think it is cool to smoke, perhaps your favourite celebrity smokes, but this doesn’t mean you have to smoke too.
Over eight in ten people start smoking before the legal age of 18 and half of those who start will continue to smoke and are likely to die from a smoke-related illness.
You might think that just smoking a couple of fags will do no harm, but it doesn’t take long for the body to become addicted to the nicotine in cigarettes and you may find yourself craving more....
It helps me unwind – Myth! Nicotine in cigarettes is a stimulant so actually speeds up your bodily functions
It makes me sexy - Kissing someone with a mouth like an ashtray isn't sexy
It makes me look mature – Smoking gives you wrinkles if that’s what you mean?!
If I stop I will put on weight - Cigarettes don't keep your body weight down and they can even cause cellulite
Rolled tobacco or menthol cigarettes aren’t so bad for you – Wrong! You will still be inhaling toxic chemicals into your body
Different types of smoking
Aside from regular cigarettes and rolled tobacco or ‘rollies’ there are other methods of smoking, which are equally dangerous, these include:
- Water pipe AKA Shisha/Hookah/Hubble Bubble – whereby flavoured tobacco is burned and then the fumes are cooled by water and smoked through a pipe. You may have been these being used abroad in countries such as Egypt and Turkey
- Snuss – is Swedish smokeless moist ground tobacco which is placed under the upper lip for an extended period of time
Did you know... that 1hr of shisha = a whole days worth of fags?!
Short-term effects of smoking
There are thousands of harmful chemicals in cigarettes, all of which are inhaled and absorbed into the body. So it is no surprise that smokers suffer from:
- shortness of breath
- bad skin
- rotting teeth
- bad breath
Long-term smokers put themselves at risk of lung cancer, heart disease and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe). Not a future to aspire to...
Smoking in pregnancy
Continuing to smoke whilst pregnant puts you at a higher risk of miscarriage and is extremely harmful to your unborn child. Smoking deprives your baby of oxygen and can cause a number of health problems. Giving up your smoking habit will mean your baby’s health will improve immediately.
Be aware of illegal tobacco
Many counterfeit or fake cigarettes are smuggled into the UK or are available to buy abroad for a lower price. Don’t be tempted to buy these just because they will save you a little bit of money, in the long-term they pose an even greater threat to your health.
It is not uncommon to find sand, plastic, sawdust or tobacco beetles in fake fags – don’t seem like such a bargain now do they?!
Help with quitting
Well done if you have decided to quit – you have taken the first step!
Support is FREE and available via a weekly drop-in centre especially for young people at Colchester Cornerstone on Thursdays between 4pm and 5pm.
Alternatively, there are other regular drop-ins on Thursdays from 12.30pm - 1.30pm or 5.30pm to 6.30pm and Saturdays from 11.15am to 12.15pm.
If you would feel more comfortable seeing an advisor on a one-to-one basis, call 0800 7312 656 to book an appointment.
Many schools in Colchester and Tendring have their own trained Stop Smoking advisors, ask one of your teachers to find out who it is.
Also doctor surgeries and pharmacies offer a Stop Smoking service.
What to expect when giving up smoking
An adviser will help you to decide if you want to quit ‘cold turkey’ (just stopping smoking without any nicotine replacement) or if you want to use a nicotine replacement product to help you give up cigarettes.
There are many different products available including:
Lozenges (tablets to suck)
You should always get some advice from a trained adviser before taking Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) because you might not need to use it.
If you don’t want to see an adviser and want to quit on your own, try to get a friend to quit with you and help each other. Write down all the reasons you want to quit and prepare a day to quit. Think about how you are going to ‘say no’ when offered a cigarette and find something you will do instead of smoking, e.g. text someone or play a particular tune on your ipod.
Exercise really helps with cravings so make sure you get dancing, walking or cycling…..and remember a craving only lasts for 3 minutes.
Use the 4D’s - Delay…..having a fag, distract…yourself, deep…. breathing, drink…..water
Even after giving up smoking for 20 mins you will be making a different to your health and if quit for good your body should get back to perfect health:
20 mins – Your blood pressure and pulse return to normal. Circulation improves – especially in your hands and feet
8 hours – Your blood oxygen levels return to normal and your chance of having a heart attack falls.
24 hours – Carbon Monoxide leaves your body. Your lungs start to clear out mucus and debris
48 hours – Your body is now nicotine free. Your sense of taste and smell have improved
72 hours – Your breathing is easier. You have more energy.
2-12 weeks – Circulation is now improved throughout your body. It is now easier to exercise.
3-9 months – Your lungs are more efficient now. Say goodbye to coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing.
Click on the icons below for smoking information and stop smoking services: