Today is National No Smoking Day and the objective as always is to encourage people to give up smoking, not only for the day, but for good. According to the British Heart Foundation (BHF), who run the campaign, there are currently 10 million smokers in the UK and 100,000 people who die every year from smoking related conditions. With mounting pressure on NHS resources, it’s more important than ever that people give up smoking, not just for their own health but the health of others too.
Smoking in the UK
With 10 million smokers in the UK, the cost to the NHS is significant. It is estimated that treating smoking related illnesses costs the NHS over £2 billion a year, with many of these illnesses being preventable by giving up smoking. The BHF claims that smoking just 1 to 4 cigarettes a day can impact cardiovascular health, whilst quitting at any stage can significantly improve your life expectancy. It’s also reported that two-thirds of smokers begin smoking before the age of 18, meaning that action is needed to prevent young people taking up smoking in the first place.
About No Smoking Day
The first No Smoking Day was held back in 1983, and whilst the number of smokers in the UK has gone down, the current figure of 10 million smokers is still too high. No Smoking Day not only provides the opportunity to learn about the dangers of smoking in an effort to reduce the number of smokers in the UK, but also offers a wide range of resources and products to help smokers quit for good. With the aim of transforming smokers to ‘Proud Quitters’, No Smoking Day could have more of an impact for quitters than those who chose 1st January to quit.
Getting involved in No Smoking Day
Everyone can do their bit to get involved in No Smoking Day. If you’re a smoker, stop smoking. Start with making it through one day, and once you’ve seen that it’s possible, increase your goal to 10 days, 30 days and then 100 days. If you’ve already given up or are a non-smoker, do your bit to raise awareness of the day and encourage others to become smoke free. You can do this through social media, or by talking to your friends and colleagues, helping to make them aware of No Smoking Day and the help that is available to them.
Raising awareness can also be as simple as putting posters up. The campaign’s website has some great printable posters which can be put up in your office, your school, your university or college or even your business. It’s a small effort on your part but it can go a long way to help encourage people to quit.
Getting help if you want to quit smoking
If you want to quit smoking for good, there’s no better day to start than 9th March. More than any other day will you find a wealth of easy to access resources to help you kick the habit – quitting doesn’t have to be something that you do alone. The NHS has a great Smoke Free quitting tool which has been used by millions of people to help them quit. By signing, you will receive tailored help and support to ensure that you stop smoking for life.
There are plenty of options available to help you give up smoking for good. Your GP will be happy to advise you on quitting methods and provide you with support and information, whilst talking to others who are quitting or have quit may provide you with the motivation and support you need. Having a goal in mind, such as getting fitter, or even saving the money usually spent on cigarettes for something more worthwhile such as a holiday or a new gadget can also help. For some great self-help tips for quitting smoking, visit NHS Choices.