We're sure you'll have lots of questions on your journey to quitting for good.

Hopefully we can answer these below, but if not just get in touch with us.

Smoking remains the UK’s greatest cause of health inequalities, preventable illness and premature death

When you smoke a cigarette, the smoke enters the mouth and nose, travelling down the throat into the lungs. Smoke enters the lungs and starts to damage the cilia in the lining of the lungs. The smoke and toxins eventually cause the cilia to die.

The lack of oxygen and increase in tar causes breathlessness, wheezing, dizziness and tiredness. Carbon monoxide in the blood stream stops the blood carrying oxygen around the body.

Although most smoke enters the lungs, some is swallowed. It travels down the oesophagus into the stomach. Chemicals from the smoke enter your blood stream and travel around the body. This can cause cancer in other parts of the body e.g. pancreas, cervix or liver.

Smoke will eventually become part of urine, which passes through the bladder, which can cause kidney and bladder cancer.

Tobacco smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, many of which are known to cause cancer. Smokers are addicted to nicotine but are harmed by the many other chemicals which are known as tar.

Smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke increases the risk of:

  • Cancer
  • Strokes
  • Heart diseases
  • Lung diseases including COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
  • Reduced fertility
  • Complications in childbirth including; stillbirth, premature birth and low birth weight
  • Developing diabetes is 30-40% higher

You may experience different symptoms as you give up smoking including:

  • Nicotine craving as your brain misses the nicotine fix. This lasts 5 to 10 minutes and can be uncomfortable, but try to wait it out. Make a list of things you can do to manage the craving. This goes away after a few weeks.
  • Coughing as your lungs clear the tar. This will improve quite quickly on its own. Warm drinks may help.
  • Trouble sleeping/restlessness due to nicotine leaving the body. This usually lasts about 2-3 weeks. Try to cut down on tea/ coffee, and get more fresh air and exercise.
  • Dizziness/feeling light headed due to receiving more oxygen to the brain which means less carbon monoxide. This should stop after a few days.
  • Mood swings/poor concentration/irritability is a sign of nicotine withdrawal which will pass. Let family and friends know you’re trying to give up smoking so they’re more understanding.

If your partner or anyone else who lives with you smokes, their smoke can affect you and the baby both before and after birth.

Second hand smoke can reduce the baby’s birth weight and increase the risk of cot death. Babies whose parents smoke are more likely to be admitted to hospital for bronchitis and pneumonia during their first year.

Cigarette smoke can last up to five hours in a room after someone has smoked.

When you breathe in second hand smoke it is also passed to your unborn baby. So anyone who smokes should smoke outside away from pregnant women and children.

You will get the most benefit if you give up smoking completely, however cutting down or stopping for periods of time can benefit your health.

You may decide to stop smoking only while you are in hospital. You can still use NRT to help you manage the craving for nicotine while you are unable to smoke. Speak to ward staff about NRT and ask to see one of the Smokefree team who can give you advice on managing while you are in hospital.

Quitting smoking is the most effective treatment for most respiratory conditions and the benefits of stopping smoking appear quickly. In Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) stopping smoking reduces both flare-ups (exacerbations) and further permanent damage to your lungs. People with COPD who stop smoking, notice greater benefits from many treatments, live longer and are less likely to be admitted to hospital.

Quitting smoking is an effective treatment to reduce narrowing and furring of the arteries. It will reduce heart work load by increasing oxygen levels in the blood, reducing the risk of blood clots. By stopping smoking you will get the maximum effect from your cardiac medication.

Stopping smoking for 28 days or more means you are five times more likely to stop for good