Help To Quit - Stoptober

Stoptober event
October is help to quit smoking month. Every cigarette you smoke is harmful, and smoking is the biggest cause of preventable deaths in England, accounting for nearly 80,000 deaths each year. One in two smokers will die from a smoking-related disease. If you could see the damage caused, you'd stop. Read on to find out the affects smoking has on your body and health.

Your circulation:

When you smoke, the poisons from the tar in your cigarettes enter your blood and cause the following:

  • Your blood becomes thicker and there is an increased chance of clot formulation
  • An increase to your blood pressure  and heart rate, making your heart work harder than normal
  • Narrowing of your arteries, reducing the amount of oxygen rich blood circulating to your organs.

Your heart:

Smoking damages your heart and your blood circulation, increasing the risk of conditions such as coronary heart disease, heart attack, stroke, peripheral vascular disease (damaged blood vessels) and cerebrovascular disease (damaged arteries that supply blood to your brain).

Carbon monoxide from the smoke and nicotine both put a strain on your heart by making it work faster. They also increase your risk of blood clots. Other chemicals in cigarette smoke damage the lining of your coronary arteries, leading to furring of the arteries.

Your lungs:

Lungs can be very badly affected by smoking. Coughs, colds, wheezing and asthma are just the start. Smoking can cause fatal diseases such as pneumonia, emphysema and lung cancer. Smoking causes 84% of deaths from lung cancer and 83% of deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

COPD, a progressive and debilitating disease, is the name for a collection of lung diseases including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. 

Your skin:

Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen that gets to your skin. This means that if you smoke, your skin ages more quickly and can look grey and dull. The toxins in your body also cause cellulite. Smoking prematurely ages your skin by between 10 and 20 years, and makes it three times more likely to cause facial wrinkling prematurely, particularly around the eyes and mouth. Smoking can even give you a sallow, yellow-grey complexion and hollow cheeks.

Your Bones:

Smoking can cause your bones to become weak and brittle. Women need to be especially careful as they are more likely to suffer from brittle bones (osteoporosis) than female non-smokers.

What happens when you stop smoking:

The sooner you quit smoking, the sooner you'll start noticing changes to your body and health (it happens quicker than you think). It's never too late to give up!

No matter how long you've smoked for, no matter how many cigarettes you smoke a day, your health will start to improve as soon as you quit. Some health benefits are immediate, some are longer-term, but what matters is that it's never too late. Just take a look at what happens once you put out that final cigarette.

  • After 20 minutes, check your pulse rate, it will already be starting to return to normal
  • After 8 hours, your oxygen levels will be returning to normal
  • After 48 hours, your body will have flushed out all carbon monoxide
  • After 72 hours, if you notice that breathing feels easier, its because your bronchial tubes have started to relax
  • After 2-12 weeks, blood will be pumping through your heart and muscles better.


Check out the Public Health England website for lots of information about quitting smoking


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