03/01/2023 - Permalink

Never too late – quit smoking this January

Related topics: Health / Partner organisations

This January Shropshire Council is encouraging smokers to make a resolution worth keeping – quit smoking. There are around 5.4 million adults in England who still smoke, and it remains the leading preventable cause of premature death. Stopping smoking is one of the best things smokers can do for their health, and it is never too late to quit.

Cigarette being offered and refused.

Stop smoking this January.

Stop smoking experts recommend these ten top tips for those who plan to quit this January:

  1. Pick a quit date and add it to your calendar
  2. List your reasons to quit
  3. Use stop smoking aids to help manage cravings
  4. Change your routine if you smoke at certain times of day
  5. Tell people you are quitting
  6. If you’ve tried to quit before, remember what worked
  7. Have a plan if you are tempted to smoke
  8. List your smoking triggers and how to avoid them
  9. Keep cravings at bay by keeping busy
  10. Exercise away the urge.

There are financial benefits to quitting smoking too. On average a smoker can save around £38 a week by quitting smoking, equivalent to around £2,000 a year.

Rachel Robinson, Shropshire Council’s executive director of public health, said:- 

As we move into 2023, smoking is still the leading cause of preventable illness and premature death in England. The Government has set out a national strategy to significantly reduce smoking rates with the vision of creating a smoke-free generation.

“In Shropshire, whilst there are small fluctuations year on year, there is a general downward trend in the proportion of adults smoking, from approximately 16.1% in 2011 to 13.2% in 2021 as per data provided by the Annual Population Survey (2). This is similar to national trends for England with the proportion of adults smoking decreasing from 19.8% in 2011 to 13% in 2021.

“On a national scale, an increasing number of people are using vapes (3). In the short and medium term, evidence to date suggests that vaping poses only a small fraction of the risks of smoking (4). However, vaping is not risk-free, and is not recommended for children and young people. Vaping is a popular and effective quit tool for smokers (4,5), but those who do not smoke should not vape and they should only be used as an aid to stop smoking.

“In the Shropshire Plan 2022-2025 Shropshire Council has committed to reducing health inequalities, of which smoking is a leading cause. The council encourage people who smoke to visit the NHS and NHS Better Health websites for information and resources to help with quitting such as the free NHS Quit Smoking app (6,7). Locally, those in hospital will be offered help to quit supported by the NHS and community pharmacies are able to sign up to continue that support. There is also support offered to pregnant women through maternity services.  Shropshire Council is also undertaking work to tackle illegal tobacco trading.

“Stopping smoking is one of the best things you will ever do for your health. After 8 hours the harmful carbon monoxide levels in your blood will have already reduced by half. After 3-9 months your breathing and lung function will have improved and after a year your heart attack risk will have halved compared to that of a current smoker (7).

“It’s never too late to quit, so make this January your fresh start-you’ve got this!”

For those looking to quit, there is free support online, including the NHS Quit Smoking app, Facebook support group and an online Personal Quit Plan, as well as advice on stop smoking aids, vaping to quit smoking and free expert support from local Stop Smoking Services. Search “Smoke Free” or visit the Better Health Quit Smoking website Quit smoking – Better Health – NHS (www.nhs.uk).