Blue background and alarm clock with text "Today is the day to stop smoking"

No Smoking Day 2022: How to quit your way

No Smoking Day is a national event that takes place on the second Wednesday of March every year. The reason behind this is to encourage someone you know that has a nicotine addiction to begin the process of quitting smoking. 

It began during Ash Wednesday in 1984 as a way of giving up a bad habit for Lent. In this 40-day event, people would give up something that they believed they didn’t need in their life, and through this, smoking cigarettes became recognised as a bad habit. No Smoking Day originated in the Republic of Ireland, as they had a significant population of heavy smokers who needed encouragement to quit smoking.

As the years have gone by, No Smoking Day now takes place on the second Wednesday of March and is organised by the British Heart Foundation (BHF). Each year, there is a unique slogan or theme linked to the national event. This year’s slogan is “Quit your way” in relation to the theme of stopping smoking cigarettes in a way that suits you personally. With 8 million people dying each year due to tobacco use or inhaling second-hand smoke from cigarettes, the BHF is trying to make the public aware of the dangers of smoking, whether it be first-hand smoke or second-hand, and to encourage nicotine addicts to quit their habit for a healthier lifestyle.

Years of research into smoking has revealed more information about the impact it has on a person’s life, and that as time goes on the dangers of smoking have gotten more severe. Here is why you should stop.

Person smoking onto red cardboard cutout of lungs

Why Should You Stop Smoking?

By taking the first step towards quitting smoking, you are taking a step forward to success. Smoking has been found to cause many issues for the body, being the main cause of diseases such as: heart disease, lung cancer, and chronic bronchitis. As everyone knows, these diseases can be detrimental to a person’s health, cutting years off their lives and eventually causing death. If you make the choice to stop smoking, you are making the choice to live longer and have a healthier life. 

Smoking cigarettes is a very expensive habit to have. On average, a person smokes 10 cigarettes a day and by the end of the week, they’ve spent around £40 just on their addiction to nicotine. £40 a week adds up, and quitting for a year could save you just under £2000. This is a large amount of money to be throwing away on a habit that damages your health.

Trying for a baby? The best option to help your body prepare for creating a new life would be to quit smoking. By smoking, you are slowly damaging your reproductive system, making it harder for you to get pregnant or conceive a baby. If you quit smoking before you begin trying for a baby, it will hopefully reduce the risk of having a premature birth or a baby that is small for gestational age. For people smoking during pregnancy, your best option would be to stop. This is because you are putting your baby at risk of having a low birth weight. 

Overall, smoking is extremely bad for you and other people around you that are inhaling second-hand smoke unintentionally. It’s time to make the change for you and the people you care about.

£50 note on fire

Tips to Stop Smoking

By following these tips, it will give you a good chance in changing your life for the better, and help you quit a habit that slowly damages your body.

  • Make a list of reasons to quit smoking. Having a list of reasons to stop smoking can encourage you to realise that you should take the step to quit so that you can gain your health back to a reasonable state.
  • Distract yourself from the habit. By keeping yourself busy, you can stop yourself from having the time to go for a cigarette like you normally would. Doing exercise such as going to the gym, walking/running, or doing classes can distract you from your cravings.
  • Remember it’s never just one. If you give in and think once you smoke one cigarette you’ll be fine, you are feeding your habit which in the long run will lead to you smoking regularly again.
  • Plan quitting. A great idea to prepare yourself to quit smoking is to plan out your strategy. Setting a date and planning out how you’re going to help yourself stop, whether it be throwing your cigarettes away or weaning yourself off them, is a great way to control the way you stop smoking.
  • Figure out your savings. knowing how much you will save by stopping smoking can inspire you to want to use that money for something else – e.g. treating yourself, taking a holiday, or even saving for a mortgage for a house. As mentioned above, smoking is an expensive habit, so your wallet and bank accounts will thank you for quitting. 
  • Tell somebody that you’re quitting. Having someone that knows you’re quitting smoking is like having your own personal cheerleader. They can keep you on track and encourage you to carry on with your journey in quitting.
  • Triggers and staying positive. If you know that something triggers you to crave a cigarette, your best option is to avoid that situation until you know that you are strong enough to decline the craving. Having a positive outlook on stopping smoking can help you resolve these triggers as you can realise that you would be damaging your body all for the sake of being triggered.

What Happens When You Stop Smoking?

Coping with the struggles of stopping smoking can be hard, but what are some of the challenges that a person deals with when they begin their smoke-free life? 

Years of smoking leads to a change in appearance. When you stop, your body will start to change back into a better state. Your complexion will become brighter after being stained by the nicotine, your skin will begin to look more nourished from being dehydrated by smoking, and you will have a healthier smile with fresher breath instead of the stale scent of old cigarette smoke. 

In the timeline of 2-12 weeks, your circulation should improve exceedingly. This will make doing basic forms of physical activity – e.g. running and walking – much easier than when you were smoking your life away. Breathing issues that you may have struggled with during your smoking period should begin to ease, making you feel more energetic and lively. Within 8 hours of not smoking, the harmful carbon monoxide levels in your blood become reduced by half the amount that would’ve been there after smoking a cigarette.

After a year of stopping smoking, your risk of a heart attack is reduced by half, inevitably adding years to your life. 

An issue that ex-smokers deal with is the nicotine withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include coughing, mood swings, and nausea. Usually around day two or three of the journey into stopping smoking, these symptoms will peak and begin to wear off after a couple of days. However, your brain chemistry won’t resume back to its original pre-smoking state for up to three months after it has last been contaminated by nicotine.

Smiling woman breaking cigarette in half

No Smoking Day 2022: Don’t Give Up

No matter how hard it gets, you should always try not to give up. This is to improve your health and physical appearance. The sooner you are able to quit smoking, the greater the health gains will be. Not all smokers are able to stop straight away; do not feel as though you have failed if you give in after the first attempt. Figuring out the best method to quit smoking completely is a process of trial and error.

Remember: each time you attempt to stop smoking, you are that much closer to attaining a successful, healthy life. 

There are many services and support systems that can help you on your journey to quit smoking. You’re up to three times more likely to succeed in stopping if you have a support system to lean on.

For more assistance with the issues discussed in this post, find your local Imaan pharmacy on our locations page.

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