Oxfordshire smokers encouraged to go smoke free this No Smoking Day
People in Oxfordshire who may already be considering giving up smoking, are being encouraged to give it a go this No Smoking Day, today Wednesday March 10.
Oxfordshire County Council is supporting action on smoking and Public Health England’s No Smoking Day, to help those who want to give up smoking, celebrating the benefits of giving up for good.
Around 12 per cent of Oxfordshire’s population are smokers – that’s just over one in ten, or 65,455 people.
Dr Adam Briggs, Oxfordshire County Council’s consultant in public health, said: “The last year has been hugely difficult. All of us have less control over our lives than we’d like at the moment, but people who smoke can take some positive action on No Smoking Day. There is so much to gain from stopping smoking – mentally, physically and financially, and the pandemic has shown that there has never been a better to time to go smoke free.
“Just two days after quitting, your sense of taste and smell starts to improve; at three months the amount air that your lungs can hold will have increased; and by a year the risk of a heart attack will have halved. And if you currently smoke around six cigarettes a day, stopping will allow you to save over £1,000.
“Giving up doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. Getting the right help and support can stop you feeling like you need a cigarette and take the pressure out of quitting.
“One route could be to try nicotine replacement therapy, such as nicotine patches. These are currently free in some pharmacies in the county until March 31. This can help manage your cravings and increase your chance of quitting. Advice is also available from the Oxfordshire Stop Smoking Service, which can further increase your chance of stopping for good.”
Oxfordshire is aiming to be a ‘smokefree county’ – meaning at least 95 per cent of the population doesn’t smoke – by 2025.
Creating a smokefree community not only benefits people no longer smoking but also decreases the chance of children taking up the habit in the first place – two out of three people who smoke started when they were children.
Find out more about the support available to give up smoking on the county council’s website.
Nicotine replacement therapy, Varenicline and Bupropion have all been shown to improve a smokers’ chance of successfully quitting by reducing the extent to which smokers experience withdrawal.
In 2014, a meta-analysis found that stopping smoking is associated with improvements in mental health such as reduced depression and anxiety when compared to continuing to smoke. Find out more on the British Medical Journal’s website.