Here's why 31 May is a perfect day to quit cigarettes 2 years ago

Here's why 31 May is a perfect day to quit cigarettes

Brought to you by HSE.

Thinking of quitting the fags?

One of the hardest things about kicking the cigarettes is making a start. Successfully quitting cigarettes begins with making the decision to quit.

Well, it's the perfect day for quitting. Today is World No Tobacco Day and this year’s campaign is highlighting the link between smoking and heart disease.

“Tobacco breaks hearts” is the theme of this year’s World No Tobacco Day campaign and that’s true in more ways than one. Cardiovascular disease kills more people around the world than anything else. Tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke contribute to 12% of all deaths from heart disease.

It's not just heart disease. One in two smokers will die of a tobacco-related disease.

So every smoker is putting themselves in the line of fire if they keep puffing away. If you’ve a partner, friend or relative who smokes, you might not get to enjoy as much time with them as you’d like.

Preparing to quit and setting a quit date will help you make the best start. Some people prefer to go it alone when they quit but getting support makes you twice as likely to quit for good. Not only will you save a fortune by ditching the smokes but you could also make a lifesaving decision.

“But I tried quitting before and it didn’t work,” you say. Well, every attempt to quit gets you closer to success. It may not seem like it but it's true.

You can maximise your chances of quitting by using nicotine replacement treatment (NRT), using cessation medication like Champix and/or by getting help from a support service like Quit.ie. You become addicted to nicotine when you smoke so NRT replaces some of the nicotine that you crave when you quit smoking.

"It’s important to keep using NRT until you have really changed your smoking habit," according to a spokesperson for QUIT. "Quitting gets easier after week three, and it’s easy to think that you are now ‘cured’ from your addiction. At this stage, you might decide to stop using NRT.

"Within two to three days of stopping NRT, the withdrawal symptoms could return and you get cravings and are at risk of relapsing. You are more likely to succeed if you stay on your treatment for at least 12 weeks and longer, if required. It’s a good idea to talk to your GP or pharmacist about NRT."

Ditching the cigarettes can be easier than you think but the first step is making the decision to quit.

Thinking of quitting cigarettes? QUIT provides free, non-judgemental advice and support for people who want to quit smoking. The best way to quit is NRT, which is available in products like patches, gum, lozenges, inhalers, mouthspray and tablets. For more information, click here.

Get started on Quit.ie today, freephone QUIT at 1800201203 or freetext QUIT to 50100. You can also check them out on Twitter and Facebook or find a local HSE QUIT support group. 

Brought to you by HSE.