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Stoptober 2020 - quit smoking and breathe easier

View profile for Sarah Masters
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No smoking day - 13th March 2019

Did you know that if you quit smoking for 28 days then you are 5 times more likely to stay smoke free for good? With the global COVID-19 pandemic, staying fit and healthy is at the forefront of our minds. There’s never been a better chance to quit!

Stoptober was launched in 2012 with the primary aim of encouraging the nation’s smokers to make an attempt to quit for October and beyond. Stopping smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health.

Getting help

There are a number of ways that you can get support from the NHS to help you quit. You can get a personalised quit plan, sign up for daily email support, download the free NHS Stoptober app which allows you to track your progress, see how much you are saving and get daily support or you can visit your free local Stop Smoking Service. In England you call also call the free National Smokefree Helpline on 0300 123 1044.

What happens when you quit?

After only 20 minutes, your pulse rate will start to return to normal and after 8 hours, your oxygen levels will be recovering, reducing the harmful carbon monoxide levels in your blood by half. After 3 – 9 months any coughs, wheezing or breathing problems will be improving as your lung function increased by up to 10%.

In only 1 years’ time, your risk of heart attack will have halved compared to that of a smoker’s.

Not only will you be giving your lungs the chance to repair but you will be able to breathe easier and save money too! It is estimated that if you smoke a packet of cigarettes a day then by quitting, you’ll save around £250 per month. That means that by this time next year you could have saved £3,000!!

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and smoking

As you are no doubt aware, COVID-19 is a respiratory viral infection that affects the lungs and airways. The latest guidance from Public Health England confirms that if you smoke, you generally have an increased risk of contracting respiratory infections and of more severe symptoms once infected. As such, COVID-19 symptoms may be more severe if you do smoke.

It’s never too late to quit! Stopping smoking now will bring immediate health benefits.