National No Smoking Day 2021

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We’re raising awareness of National No Smoking Day and discussing how, and why, to quit smoking for good

10 March 2021 is National No Smoking Day in the UK. It’s a day where we raise awareness about the dangers of smoking, and encourage people who smoke to seek help to quit smoking for good.

Here we’ll discuss the harmful impact smoking has on your body, and talk about why now is the perfect time to stop smoking.

Why is smoking bad for you?

Did you know that smoking is one of the leading preventable causes of death in the UK? That word ‘preventable’ is key. Even if it doesn’t feel like it, perhaps because you’ve smoked for so long, smoking is a choice that everyone is free to make.

Our goal is to provide helpful information and insight into the effects of smoking, so you can make up your own mind about whether you want to stop.

Your heart and lungs do an incredible job of keeping you alive. When you choose to smoke, this puts your organs under lots of pressure and can cause them to degenerate and eventually stop working altogether. If you smoke, you’re more susceptible to illness as your immune system becomes weakened, so you’re less able to fight infection.

People who smoke are at risk of high blood pressure, reduced oxygen levels and are even more sensitive to cold weather as the body can’t heat itself effectively.

Smoking affects other people too. The people you live with, your children, family, co-workers or anyone else who comes into contact with you can inhale your smoke into their lungs and be at risk of illness.

Sometimes, this knowledge alone is enough to inspire people to choose to stop smoking.

What happens when you quit smoking?

This is the amazing bit - your body has the power to **heal itself! **

In fact, it takes under an hour for your body to begin healing itself once you’ve stopped smoking. After a single work day, your oxygen levels will begin going back to normal and the chemicals from cigarettes will begin to leave your body.

After a full day, your risk of a heart attack drops. Two days later, your sense of smell and taste will come back - food will taste even better than you remember! Fuel your body with healthy, nutritious meals because you’ll start to have more energy and won’t be so out of breath when you take a walk in the fresh air - breathe it in!

A year after quitting smoking, your body will be stronger and healthier, and your risk of heart attack, lung disease and cancer will be halved.

It takes about 15 years to completely reverse the effects of smoking. That sounds like a lot, but once you feel better, have more energy and can enjoy the smell and taste of food after quitting smoking, your life will feel more rewarding and enriched - so you’ll want to embrace every day!

How to quit smoking

For many people, smoking is a treat - a way to unwind after a long day, or a stress-reliever in these challenging times.

But the good news is that there are many other (safer) ways to relax and kick back after a tough day.

The biggest challenge in quitting smoking is your mental and emotional blockers. If you’ve smoked for a long time, it’s no doubt a habit; something you may do without even thinking about it.

For some people, quitting means stopping altogether, there and then. For others, it may be more gradual. Whatever approach sounds best, make sure you get help and support - you don’t need to do this alone!

How to get support and quit smoking for good

First, speak to your friends and family and let them know you’ve chosen to quit smoking. Even saying it out loud will make you feel empowered and proud of your decision.

Put together a plan of who you can call if you get cravings, and activities to distract your mind, like going for a walk, cooking a wholesome meal or watching some comedy on TV.

You may also consider getting professional help.  You can contact your local GP, the NHS Smoke Free service or charities such as The British Lung Foundation and Action on Smoking and Health.

How Vala can help

At Vala, our team of trained GPs will guide and support you through every stage of quitting smoking.

You can bookunlimited appointments with Vala, so you’ll have a friendly doctor on hand whenever you need advice or support in staying strong on your journey to quitting.

Remember, smoking is a choice. Quitting is a better one!

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