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Wednesday, 23 October

What Did You Do for World No Tobacco Day?

World No Tobacco Day took place on Sunday 31 May and was billed as a great starting point for many people to take the plunge and stop smoking (or realise the following day was Monday and decide that was a bad idea!

But just in case you want to give the people that work in your premises a nudge (or nightmares) here some stuff t help. Recent research shows that around 21% of UK adults still smoke.

Smoking damages the lining of your blood vessels, leading to the accumulation of fatty material, which can narrow the arteries and eventually cause angina, heart attack or a stroke.

Over 81,000 deaths in the UK are caused by smoking each year and a large proportion of these are linked with heart disease as smokers are almost twice as likely to have a heart attack compared with people who have never smoked.

 

It’s not too late to quit

Quitting smoking now can help to reverse the damage and help safeguard your heart health for the future?

Within minutes after quitting smoking, your blood pressure and pulse rate could return to normal and in a matter of days your body eliminates nicotine and your sense of taste and smell improves. Your lungs clear out smoking debris making breathing easier and boosting your energy levels.

 

The British Heart Foundation has issued this challenge. Could you try to be tobacco free for just one day? Why not give it a go - you might be surprised how it easy it is!

S– Stress less: Why not take a brisk walk around the block, do a bit of housework or take up a new hobby  for a bit of heart healthy stress relief to take your mind off reaching for a cigarette?

M – Money spinner: You’ll be amazed how much you actually spend on cigarettes – so instead why not spend your hard earned money on something special for yourself or a loved one?

O – Others will benefit too: If parents smoke children are more likely to pick up the bad habit too. Think about the impact of your smoking on others, and even if you’re not quite ready to quit, going outside and having a smoke-free home and car will benefit the health of family and visitors who choose not to smoke themselves.

K – Keep fit: Swap that nicotine fix for a hit of endorphins, mood-boosting hormones released when you exercise - be it Zumba, tennis, running, football or whatever you fancy.  With cleaner lungs and easier breathing, use your excess energy to exercise and encourage a better night’s sleep.

E – Eat healthy: With more sensitive taste buds and sense of smell, try out new foods and cook yourself a hearth healthy meal, packed with antioxidants - you may discover a liking for new foods and flavours.

We’re not saying it’s going to be easy, just take it one day at a time and congratulate yourself each day for stubbing it out. Relapse is a normal part of the journey, so if you find yourself needing more motivation, make a list of your reasons for stopping as a reminder; for your heart, family and finances.

Quitting smoking is one of the most important steps you can make to protect the health of your heart. Why not make preparations to stop now?

For more advice to help quit smoking, go to www.nhs.uk/smokefree.com

Article written by Brian Shillibeer

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