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Local doctors urge smokers to be ‘proud quitters’

Taking place on 9th March, the day is themed ‘Be proud to be a quitter’, and local doctors are urging members of the public to commit to winning their battle against cigarettes.

People choose to give up for a variety of reasons, whether it is to get fit, to save money or to improve their health. For others, it’s more about how their smoking affects the people around them, or about giving up e-cigarettes so that they can become totally nicotine-free.

Many people attempt and fail to give up smoking long term. However you are four times more likely to quit for good with the help of NHS stop smoking services.

Almost as soon as a person quits the improvements upon their health begin. Just 24 hours after quitting the lungs begin to clear out mucus and other smoking debris. A year later after quitting and the risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker.

Dr Pervez Muzaffar of NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG, said: “Smoking does much more harm to the body than people think, the heart, lungs, brain and all other vital organs are affected. Lots of people underestimate the harms of smoking and the detrimental effect it has on their health until later in life.

Giving up smoking will dramatically improve your health. We know that the majority of smokers do want to stop smoking, but it can be extremely hard to do without the right help and support. There is a range of excellent NHS support to help you win your battle and give up smoking for good.  There are many local NHS services and schemes across the area available all year round to give advice and support for people who want to stop smoking. To find out what and where these are, call the Smokefree National Helpline on 0300 123 1044.”

The campaign, led by the British Heart Foundations, tells us round 10 million people in the UK still smoke, while around 100,000 die every year from smoking-related causes.

Dr Stuart Berry, the GP lead for respiratory conditions at NHS East Lancashire CCG, added: “We know that smoking is the major cause of premature death, with one in two smokers dying prematurely from smoking related diseases, but it is extremely worrying that people still underestimate the health harms associated with it.

However, it is not all doom and gloom for smokers looking to quit.  Within five years of stopping smoking, your risk of stroke can be reduced to the same as a lifetime non-smoker.

Any day is a good day to stop smoking but No Smoking Day gives smokers another opportunity to try and quit.”

One to one appointments, walk in clinics and group sessions are just some of the options available as well as telephone and text support.

You can also access lots more motivational help and advice by visiting: www.nosmokingday.org.uk.

You don’t have to be a smoker to get involved – anybody can tweet support for smokers who have kicked the habit using the Twitter hashtag #NoSmokingDay.