More Help for Smokers in Herts

Many smokers decided to quit when the clock struck twelve on New Year’s Eve – but now we are in February, it’s interesting to know just how many of those smokers are still going strong in giving up the habit.

Well, if you are one of those millions who have vowed to give up and are struggling, or want to give up but don’t quite know how to start help is on hand as NHS Hertfordshire launches a new smokefree website.

Liz Fisher from Hertfordshire Stop Smoking Service spoke to Heart: “In my job as an NHS Stop Smoking Specialist I have helped hundreds of people successfully stop smoking. The new website is one more way that people can get help and support to quit.

“Once registered, users can gain access to interactive tools and information to support them quit smoking. There is also an option to enter group sessions which are a simulation of the real thing, well almost the real thing and we have injected a little ‘fun factor’ into the experience.

“As well as the new website your local NHS Stop Smoking Service can provide you with support and encouragement to help you quit for good – and its completely free! You can get advice from a NHS Stop Smoking Adviser like me – either in person or by phone, in one-to-one, or group sessions. Your Adviser can also recommend the best treatment s to help you quit, including Nicotine Replacement Therapy, Champix or Zyban to help you cope with the withdrawal symptoms These are available for the price of a prescription.”

Smokefree Benefits Timeline:

20 minutes after quitting – Blood pressure and pulse rate return to normal

8 hours – Nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in blood reduce by half, oxygen levels return to normal

24 hours – Carbon monoxide will be eliminated from the body. Lungs start to clear out mucus and other smoking debris

48 hours – There is no nicotine in the body. Ability to taste and smell is greatly improved

72 hours – Breathing becomes easier. Bronchial tubes begin to relax and energy levels increase

2-12 weeks – Your circulation improves

3-9 months – Coughs, wheezing and breathing problems improve as lung function increases by up to 10%

5 years – Risk of heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker

10 years – Risk of lung cancer falls to half of that of a smoker. Risk of heart attack falls to thhe same as someone who has never smoked.

For advice and details of how to quit, call Hertfordshire Stop Smoking Service on 0800 389 3 998 or visit www.smokefreehertfordshire.nhs.uk

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