Be proud to be a quitter on No Smoking Day

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NHS Tayside Smoke Free Services are encouraging people to quit and be proud this No Smoking Day 2016 (Wednesday).

Staff held an awareness event on the main concourse at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee today (Wednesday) in a bid to help people win their battle against smoking.

Staff were on hand to provide expert advice and information about quitting smoking and the support available across Tayside.

Alice Burns, hospital smoking cessation co-ordinator, said: “Smoking is one of the biggest causes of heart disease. The carbon monoxide found in cigarette smoke narrows the arteries every time you have a cigarette, reducing blood supply and oxygen to the heart.

“We know that the majority of smokers want to quit and we hope people will use No Smoking Day as the perfect opportunity to take that step towards stopping.

“With support, smokers are more likely to succeed in their quit attempt. We want people to seek the support and resources available in Tayside to stub it out for good.”

Success story Helen Mills will soon celebrate her one year anniversary of giving up smoking after getting support from the Smoke Free Services Team.

After smoking for almost 50 years, Helen decided she wanted to be a quitter for good.

Helen (65), a domestic assistant at Ninewells Hospital, said: “I had smoked since I was about 15 and smoked 20 to 25 cigarettes a day. I had tried to stop a few times before but I had always gone back, but this time, I was just walking along the corridor at work and I decided that was it, I was going to quit and I went to see the Smoke Free Services team.”

Helen took part in the quit4u programme and is now confident she will continue to be smoke-free for life.

“I did quit4u and it was a brilliant feeling seeing my carbon monoxide rating go down each week and then down to nothing,” Helen said. “Stopping wasn’t as bad as I thought and the support I got was brilliant. They were there every step of the way.

“Since stopping smoking I feel much better and have noticed a big difference in my sense of smell. I’m also saving lots of money every week as smoking is so expensive. My family are really proud of me, I’m not sure they thought I could actually do it this time but I definitely won’t go back to it now!”

This year’s No Smoking Day, which is run by the British Heart Foundation, has a ‘Proud to be a Quitter’ campaign theme, which aims to inspire hundreds of thousands of smokers to stub out cigarettes once and for all.

Giving up smoking is the single most important lifestyle decision that anyone can make to improve their health immediately.

Anyone who smokes in Tayside can go along to their own local pharmacy for a free consultation and if they wish to stop can access a free 12 week programme of stop smoking support and products, including NRT and Champix.

Anyone who wants to stop smoking can call NHS Tayside Smoke Free Services on 0845 6009996 to find out about all the ways in which NHS Tayside can help support people to become smoke free. You can also like their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nhstaysidesmokefree

Health benefits to quitting smoking:

· 20 minutes after quitting your blood pressure and pulse return to normal

· 48 hours - no nicotine is left in your body. Your senses of taste and smell are greatly improved

· 72 hours - your breathing becomes easier and your energy levels increase

· 2-12 weeks after quitting smoking your circulation improves and exercise can be easier

· 3-9 months - any coughs, wheezing and breathing problems improve

· Within one year the risk of heart attack is halved

· Within 10 years the risk of lung cancer is halved and the risk of heart attack is at the same level as non-smokers

· Medium to long term – stopping smoking at any age increases your life expectancy, provided you stop before the onset of serious disease. Even if you have developed a disease, you can benefit from stopping as your body will be under less strain and be able to fight it more easily.

The new NHS Tayside ‘Value Your NHS’ campaign encourages patients, carers, staff and the general public to make the best use of the services provided to ensure the NHS can continue to deliver person-centred, safe and effective treatment and care into the future.

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