Proud to be a Quitter
Smoking causes 25% of all cancers in Northern Ireland and is our greatest cause of preventable death and disease, the charity warned.
Not only that, but a 20 a day smoker who decides to quit could save themselves around £3,500 a year.
Cancer Focus NI’s Naomi Thompson says: “Stopping smoking is the most important thing you can do to improve your health.
“Most smokers want to stop - there are just so many health benefits. Twenty four hours after stopping, lungs start clearing out your build-up of mucus and within three to nine months, your lungs will absorb up to 10% more oxygen.”
Naomi added: “Smokers are four times more likely to quit if they get help, and we have been providing that support for more than 40 years, consistently getting a 68% quit rate in four weeks.
“If you aren’t quite ready to stop on March 14, you can pick a new date and Cancer Focus NI is more than happy to help and give you lots of tried and tested tips to make quitting that bit easier.
“We will look at coping with cravings, managing stress, avoiding weight gain and developing a healthy lifestyle. You don’t have to face it alone.”
Cancer Focus NI’s award-winning stop smoking service is funded by the Public Health Agency (PHA). More than 70% of all people who attempt to quit smoking use services provided by Community Pharmacy including your local MediCare Pharmacy Group branches. Quit smoking services are also available in GP practices, health and wellbeing centres, community, workplace and youth settings including schools.
No Smoking Day is coordinated in Northern Ireland by Cancer Focus NI. Cancer Focus NI, the Public Health Agency, the Healthy Living Centre Alliance and Health and Social Care Trusts, Environmental Health and local councils are all members of the local No Smoking Day Coordinating Committee.
For more information on the services available and useful tips to stop smoking, visit www.cancerfocusni.org/stopsmoking, the Public Health Agency (PHA) Want 2 Stop website at www.want2stop.info where you can also order a Quit Kit free of charge which will help you plan your quit attempt.
Five top tips to help you quit smoking:
- Make a date to give up - and stick to it! This year’s No Smoking Day is Wednesday March 14.
- Make a plan. Think about what could help you stop smoking, such as using a nicotine-replacement product, and have it ready before the date you plan to stop.
- Get support and let your family and friends know that you're quitting. Some people find that talking to friends and relatives who have stopped can be helpful. You can also talk to local smoking cessation team.
- Keep busy to help take your mind off cigarettes. Try to change your routine, and avoid the shop where you normally buy cigarettes.
- Treat yourself. If you can, use the money you're saving by not smoking to buy yourself something special.
Pic caption: Gerry McElwee, head of cancer prevention, Cancer Focus NI, and Colm Kerr, pharmacist at MediCare Pharmacy, urge smokers to make Smoking Day, Wednesday, March 14, the start of their smokefree lives. Giving up smoking is the best thing you can do to improve your health - and you’re four times more likely to succeed if you get support. You can get help at Cancer Focus NI, community pharmacies, GPs, Trust and a range of voluntary groups.