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It’s never too late to quit

Are you one of those smokers who have tried and failed several times to quit smoking?  Are you aware of the health risks and know that you should give up but think that you’ve been smoking for too many years it won’t make any difference?

Well, you would be wrong and Sarah Brown, a registered nurse in AXA PPP healthcare’s Health at Hand team tells us why.

Smoking not only increases the risk of lung cancer but could also mean you are twice as likely to have a heart attack as non-smokers. And if that wasn’t enough, smoking may also lead to gum disease, fertility problems and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease (COPD) – the name for a group of lung conditions that can cause breathing difficulties.

But studies have shown that it is never too late to feel the benefits from quitting.  People who stop smoking after their mid-thirties may recover a staggering average of six hours of life for every day they don’t smoke.

It’s never too late to give up smoking?

The World Health Association’s 2019 report tells us “quitting as soon as possible is essential to prevent the onset of chronic lung disease, which is potentially irreversible once it has developed”.

Quitting does save lives.  According to Robert West, Professor of Health Psychology and Director of Tobacco Studies at University College London, stopping smoking can even be beneficial to those already suffering from smoking-related diseases: “Even if smokers have a smoking-related disease, progression of the disease is slowed or reversed and quality of life is improved after quitting.”

Top tips to help you quit

First and foremost, the crucial element that will help you to stop smoking is state of mind.  You must feel the time is right for you and not feel pressured by family or friends.  When you are certain you want to quit here are a few simple measures for you to consider which may help you to give up for good:

  • Set a stop date and stick to it
  • Try and get as much support from family and friends – some may even want to quit with you.
  • Make an appointment to see your GP as they will be able to give advice on the numerous different aids to help you quit, such as gum, tablets, patches, etc.
  • Finally, if you start and fail then don’t give up. Do try again as it is never too late to improve your health and quality of life, not only for you but also for those around you.

Further advice

You can get further advice and help from the Smokefree National Helpline on 0300 123 1044 where you will be able to speak to a trained adviser.

You can also visit the NHS Smokefree website for the NHS Stop Smoking Service.

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Have you got a health question?

We've teamed up with AXA PPP healthcare to bring you articles, information and tips from their clinical teams on a wide range of health topics. And if you have a health related question of your own - about your or your family's health, medication or upcoming procedures, for example - you can also access their, "Ask the Expert" service. Available around the clock, 365 days a year this free resource allows you to ask the team of friendly and experienced nurses, midwives and pharmacists about any health concerns you may have - whenever you need them, 24 hours a day, every day. Please get in touch now.

Click below to submit your question online.

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