Women smokers often give up when they are pregnant, but if family life gets stressful it can be tempting to turn back to cigarettes. If you, or your partner, are smokers it's not too late to join the Department of Health Stoptober campaign which offers lots of help and support to anyone trying to quit.
You can join the campaign at www.smokefree.nhs.uk/stoptober and get a special Stoptober pack which contains lots of useful tips and advice including an addiction test to work out how addicted you are and a guide to help you to identify reasons for wanting to stop. This is all based on a 28-day plan to stop smoking, as it has been shown that you are more likely not to take up smoking again if you can last this long. You can also get daily supportive texts and information about the different types of nicotine replacement therapy available that you might want to consider if you feel you will need this
The health benefits of giving up cannot be overstated. Lung cancer is not the only potentially fatal disease caused by smoking, as it can also be responsible for heart disease, bronchitis, emphysema, respiratory diseases, strokes and can even affect your fertility. What's more, you can begin to experience the positive effects of giving up within 24 hours when your blood pressure and lungs will already start to be improving and your breathing and circulation will be noticeably better within a few months. Your risk of having a heart attack and of getting lung cancer both fall the longer you've been without cigarettes. Stopping smoking increases your life expectancy.
Of course, it's not just you who will benefit if you give up, as babies and children who grow up living with smokers are more likely to have asthma, chest infections, coughs, colds and wheeziness. If your baby or child is in a smoky atmosphere at home, they also have a higher risk of cot death, meningitis and ear infections.
So if you've been thinking you really ought to give up smoking at some point, now is a better time than any - join Stoptober today and get all the help you need to quit smoking for good.