Every hour, day, week, month and year that you go without smoking, your health will improve.
Stopping smoking isn’t easy. But hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders have done it, and you can too.
Smoking harms your body in many ways. Smokers who do not quit have a 1 in 2 chance of dying of a smoking-related illness – most commonly lung cancer, other lung diseases, heart disease and stroke.
The Benefits of Quitting
You will feel immediate benefits when you quit as your body starts to repair itself. Quitting at any age is beneficial and not only increases life expectancy; it also improves quality of life.
Smoking is an expensive habit. Smoking a pack a day costs around $10,000 per year or approximately $192 a week (based on the average cost in January 2018).
How much is smoking costing you? Use this calculator to find out.
It’s not only you being harmed by smoking. Second-hand smoke kills around 350 New Zealanders every year. Second-hand smoke contains the same poisonous chemicals that you breathe into your body when you smoke.
Children exposed to second-hand smoke are more likely to develop asthma. They are also more likely to develop coughs, colds and ear infections. Even if you don’t smoke around your baby or children, the poisonous chemicals from tobacco will stay in your clothes and can still do them harm.
Children and teenagers whose parents or caregivers smoke are seven times more likely to become smokers themselves. You’ll be setting them a great example by quitting. Plus, you’re likely to live longer to enjoy your family and friends.
Smoking starves your skin of oxygen making it dry and grey. You develop wrinkles around your eyes and mouth much earlier, and the tar stains your teeth and fingers.
Your hair and breath will smell cleaner. So will your house, car and clothes.
Smoking makes it harder for you to exercise and reduces the benefits to your body.
Your sense of smell and taste will improve.
“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”Napoleon Hill
How we can help
Please ask our nurses or doctors for advice and support to help you quit smoking. There are many options available to help you quit smoking. Your Doctor or Nurse will work with you to find the best treatment option to fit your lifestyle.
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)
Using nicotine patches, gum or lozenges reduces withdrawal symptoms and can double your chances of stopping smoking.
Non-nicotine quit treatments
Non-nicotine quit treatments reduce the negative sensations of nicotine withdrawal so you do not miss having a cigarette so badly. It also blocks the pleasant sensations of smoking so having a cigarette is less enjoyable. Non-Nicotine medications must be prescribed by your doctor. They can be useful, and your doctor will explain how to use them.
Tips to Help you Quit
Becoming a non-smoker is a process that takes time and determination. Eventually you won’t crave cigarettes at all. You may even find it hard to imagine you ever liked smoking. Before you reach that point you may face challenges that test your resolve to quit.
Remember the 4 Ds if you get cravings – Delay, Drink water, Deep breathe, Do something else
- Change your routines and habits
- Try nicotine patches, gum and lozenges
- Avoid situations that make you want to smoke
- Try to reduce some of the stresses in your life
- Make your home smoke free and get rid of ashtrays
- Wash all your ‘smoky’ clothes and furnishings
- Clean your car and keep it smoke free
- Cut down on alcohol
- Brush your teeth with a fresh minty toothpaste
- Book into your dentist to have your teeth cleaned
- Do things you enjoy – give yourself treats
- Keep a drink bottle filled with water with you
- Phone a friend for support
- Take time out for yourself
- Put up a list of reasons you quit somewhere you can see it
- Plan what to do when you go where there might be smokers– e.g., chew gum
- Practise saying “I don’t smoke”, “I am a non-smoker”, or “I’m not smoking anymore”
- Tell yourself it doesn’t matter what other people think
- Spend time with non-smokers or ex-smokers
- Go for a walk when you are stressed or upset
- Reward yourself with a treat from some of the money you’ve saved
- Keep yourself busy
- Learn about relaxation – it’s about “letting go”
- Share your story and get support from others