Smokefree from the UK National Health Service provides useful advice for smokers everywhere. It is targeted to those living in the United Kingdom (sensibly, given their mission) but provides information anyone can benefit from, such as: “you are up to four times more likely to succeed if you use NHS support and stop smoking medicines such as patches or gum to manage your cravings.” So, if you live outside the UK, you will have to see what assistance is available to you, but still knowing that support makes quiting successfully more likely is valuable information.
It also shows the benefit of a health system managed at the national level that can spend money on reducing smoking which greatly reduces health afflictions for citizens.
Information for fathers, or hopeful fathers:
Smoking affects fertility levels and can increase the risk of impotence. If you are a smoker, you may have fewer, less mobile sperm than a non-smoker. It is estimated that 120,000 men, in their 30s & 40s, are impotent as a direct result of smoking. If you are 30-40 years old, smoking also increases your risk of impotence by about 50%.
Exposing your pregnant partner to secondhand smoke means you are exposing your baby to secondhand smoke, which contains thousands of toxic chemicals. The risk of miscarriage, still birth, under-development and cot death are all increased.
The site also offers FAQs, including
How can I help someone close to me give up smoking?
It’s hard to persuade someone to stop smoking. They really have to decide for themselves that they want to give up. But, giving them encouragement and support can really help. Explain to the person that you are worried about their health. You can talk to them about this website and about finding a way to quit that works for them. Information about different ways to quit. There are lots of brilliant reasons for going smokefree. Perhaps some of these might be helpful…
- Risk of having a heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker five years after quitting.
- Risk of getting cancer drops with every year of not smoking.
- Setting a good example to the children.
- Having more money to spend on other things.
- Living longer – half of long-term smokers die early and lose about 16 years of life.
- Better skin, fewer wrinkles and fresher breath.
What to expect when you quite smoking:
The first few days after your quit date can be challenging. Nicotine withdrawal can make you feel very irritable and frustrated but this intense period of withdrawal only lasts 48 hours and you will soon notice an improvement. Nicotine patches and gum can really help you to cope with the early stage symptoms of withdrawal.
24 hours – Carbon monoxide will be eliminated from the body. Lungs start to clear out mucus and other smoking debris… and now you have saved £4.20.
48 hours – There is no nicotine in the body. Ability to taste and smell is greatly improved… £8.40 keep going the best is yet to come.
72 hours – Breathing becomes easier. Bronchial tubes begin to relax and energy levels increase and you have saved £12.60 in three days…
3-9 months – Amend to “Coughs, wheezing and breathing problems improve as lung function increases by up to 10%.”
5 years – Risk of heart attack falls about half that of a smoker, after 5 years you could use a holiday, saving £7665.00 should cover it?
10 years – Risk of lung cancer falls to half that of a smoker. Risk of heart attack falls to the same as someone who has never smoked. After 10 years, even if they never went up in price, that’s a saving of over £15,000.
The National Health Service provides more support for those living in the UK, but, smokers anywhere can gain valuable information on why quiting smoking is important and how to do so.
Related: Global Cancer Deaths to Double by 2030 (due to increased smoking) – Why Can’t Drug Addicts Quit on Their Own? – USA Center for Substance Abuse Treatment