Make a fresh quit for 2024 for better health, more money and less stress
PEOPLE who smoke are being encouraged to put smoking behind them this New Year for their family, better health, more money and less stress.
People who smoke are being encouraged to “make a fresh quit” and visit FreshQuit.co.uk for tips, advice and local quit support.
There are lots of reasons to make a quit attempt and start 2024 smokefree:
- For family: children worry about parents smoking and quitting smoking makes it less likely your children will smoke. Evidence shows teens aged 14-17 are nearly three times more likely to smoke if their parents, caregivers or friends smoke[ii].
- A healthier New Year: easier breathing, fewer coughs and colds and less risk of a diseases such as cancer, heart attack, stroke and COPD
- More money: quitting smoking will give you money you didn’t know you had – you could be saving another £47 a week or around £2,400 a year – or save even more the more cigarettes you smoke a day.
- Less stress: quitting smoking is proven to leave people feeling calmer and happier after a few weeks. Using quit aids, nicotine replacement or a vape can help ease any cravings.
“Smoking Survivors” highlights the life-changing experiences from former smokers in the North East. Cathy Hunt from County Durham, was diagnosed with lung cancer aged 49 and Sue Mountain from South Shields, cancer of the larynx aged 48. Both underwent intensive treatment but speak proudly of putting smoking behind them.
The campaign is part of a commitment by all 12 North East local authorities and the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board for a smokefree future as set out in this declaration.
It also comes as the government considers next steps on creating a Smokefree Generation.
The new Tobacco and Vapes Bill will introduce a landmark new law to stop children who turn 14 this year, or younger, from ever legally being sold cigarettes in England, to protect future generations from taking up smoking. The move is supported by nearly ¾ of adults in the North East.
Ailsa Rutter OBE, Director of Fresh and Balance, said: “None of us want our children to start an addiction which kills 2 in 3 smokers and costs tens of thousands of pounds over a lifetime. Most of us want to see a smokefree generation.
“If you smoke, stopping for your family is something amazing you can do for them. You can reduce the risk of them ever taking up smoking and be around longer for them to see the important things in their life.
“Quitting smoking can include switching over totally to vaping which is much less harmful and can ease cravings – but you need to switch completely.
“Even if you have tried to quit before, give it another go and make a fresh quit – this time it can be different.”
Smoking survivor Sue Mountain, 57, started smoking at the age of 11 and was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer at the age of 48. She said: “Smoking doesn’t just cost you your health – you will spend tens of thousands of pounds on an addiction that gives you cancer.
“Nobody who is a parent wants their children to smoke. But when we smoke the reality is that our family also suffer, and our children worry so much.
“You’ve got to keep on trying to quit – it’s worth it for both you and your family. And if it means less chance of your children smoking that has to be worth something.”
Fellow cancer survivor Cathy Hunt, 58, had half a lung removed in 2015 but recently underwent surgery again in 2022 when the cancer returned.
She said: “I would urge everybody who smokes to give quitting a go this New Year and never look back! You will feel happier and calmer.
“Your children and family want to have you around. It is not always easy to stop smoking, but you never want to have the Big C conversation.
“I remember myself starting as a child – I thought it made me look glamorous to have a cigarette in my hand and that was partly because our generation saw so much of it in the adult world around us – on adverts, on TV, in films and our families.
“I want what happened to me and the truth about lung cancer – to serve as a warning to anyone who smokes or might ever be tempted to pick up their first cigarette. Tobacco is as toxic as it smells, it gets you addicted, and it can bring the worst pain and terror into your family.”
It can take a number of attempts to successfully stop for good – but there are lots of ways to stop which can take a lot of the stress out of quitting.
Your chances improve if you use a quitting aid or switch completely to vaping to reduce cravings. Stop Smoking Services can also help you develop a plan to help you stop for good.
Here’s how your body recovers when you quit:
After 20 minutes
Your pulse rate starts to return to normal.
After 8 hours
Your oxygen levels are recovering, and the level of harmful carbon monoxide in your blood will have reduced by half.
After 48 hours
All carbon monoxide is flushed out. Your lungs are clearing out mucus and your senses of taste and smell are improving.
After 72 hours
If you notice that breathing feels easier, it’s because your bronchial tubes have started to relax. Also your energy will be increasing.
After 2-12 weeks
Blood will be pumping through to your heart and muscles much better because your circulation will have improved.
After 6 weeks
Smokers who stop have better mental health than those who continue to smoke. One study found that benefits could be seen as soon as six weeks and were maintained even a number of years after stopping.
After 3-9 months
Any coughs, wheezing or breathing problems will be improving as your lung function increases.
After 1 year
Great news! Your risk of heart attack will have halved compared with a smoker’s.
After 10 years
Your risk of death from lung cancer will have halved compared with a smoker’s.