Smokers urged to focus on gains of giving up

North Yorkshire health chiefs are urging smokers to focus on the gains of giving up this January.

By swapping cigarettes to safer forms of nicotine, such as patches, gum or a vape, Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership says people can save hundreds of pounds, with significant improvements to physical and mental health when harmful tobacco products are removed.

Dave Jones, tobacco programme manager for the Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board said: “The thought of stopping smoking can seem overwhelming and very final. For many smokers, their days are organised around smoking habits.

“Swapping to an effective replacement means that harmful tobacco is removed, without the discomfort of nicotine withdrawal, leading to improved energy, breathing, taste and smell within days, not to mention saving lots of money.

“A great tip to keep up your motivation is to put the money that you would have spent on cigarettes in a jar or online back account ‘pot’, so you see the amount you’re saving going up week by week.”

Once people have got used to not smoking tobacco and are ready to move onto the next stage, nicotine replacement products can be gradually reduced until no longer needed at all.

Health officials say studies show that once a person is nicotine free, mental health can dramatically improve, with reduced anxiety, depression, and stress.

Scott Crosby, associate director for the Centre for Excellence in Tobacco Control for Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board said: “There is a misconception that smoking relieves anxiety, when in fact, it creates it. The relief that people feel when they have a cigarette is because they are giving their body the drug (nicotine) that it has been withdrawing from.

“If you are feeling worried about the thought of stopping smoking, getting support from a specialist stop smoking service can really help. This means someone is with you every step of the way, from making a plan, through to providing a prescription for nicotine replacement items and weekly check ins with an expert advisor.

“The advisor will discuss any challenges or wins you’ve experienced along your quit journey, and the best thing is that their services are free.”

To explore a range of stop smoking and self-help health apps recommended by professionals, visit the Health App Library here https://hnyhealthapps.co.uk/en-GB/stop-smoking.

Find details of your local stop smoking service here: https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/quit-smoking/find-your-local-stop-smoking-service/ who offer free, expert support.