Smokers in London can tackle the cost of living increase head-on and add a spring to their step this April with free local support to stop smoking from Stop Smoking London.
A 10-a-day smoker spending around £10 per pack on four to five packs a week could save more than £2,000 a year, just by stopping smoking. This figure increases to over £4,000 each for Londoners smoking 20-a-day or more. Families, where two people smoke, could be missing out on £4,000-£8,000 of extra income every year, at a time when the cost of living is rising drastically.
Smoking is still the leading cause of preventable illness and premature death in the UK. When you stop smoking your blood circulation improves almost immediately, increasing your energy levels. Ex-smokers will also experience less coughing and shortness of breath after just 30 days of quitting as their lungs start to heal. So, as well as saving money, smokers who quit will find it easier to breathe and exercise, adding a spring to their step just in time for the better weather.
Dr Somen Banerjee, Co-Chair and Smoking Cessation Lead of the London Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) said: “It is a common misconception that smoking helps to reduce stress. In fact, it has the opposite effect, increasing feelings of tension and anxiety. At a time when families across London are seeing their energy bills and overall cost-of-living increase, stopping smoking will not only offer a huge financial boost it will also help reduce stress.
“Many smokers think that they need to give up on their own. You may have tried and failed in the past, but this should not put you off. Spring is a wonderful time for new beginnings, and I would encourage smokers to consider how much money they could save. You are three times as likely to stop smoking successfully with the support of your local stop smoking service. Stop Smoking London’s website and helpline are the best place to start in accessing these free local services which are there to help you.”
Consultant Vascular Surgeon Mr Paritosh Sharma describes some of the benefits he sees in patients: “I usually find that once patients have given up smoking a significant proportion of patients will notice a significant difference in their lifestyle. They can suddenly walk better. They can breathe better and there is a significant financial impact as well. So, a lot of people come back and tell me ‘Well I am saving a lot of money now.’ A lot of people find that a significant motivation to keep off the smoking.”
Smokers who want to find out more about the support available should visit the Stop Smoking London website at https://stopsmokinglondon.com/todayistheday. Here you can also search for your local stop smoking service which provides free, personalised, one-to-one support to help you quit.
Alternatively, you can start a web chat or call the helpline on 0300 123 1044. Both services are available 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 11am to 4pm at weekends.
Spring into stopping smoking with these 10 tips from Stop Smoking London
Would you like a pay rise? Use the Smoking Calculator on the Stop Smoking London website and find out how much you could save.
Make the decision. And mark it on your calendar. “Today is the day” – decide on a date and stick to it.
Get free local support. You are three times as likely to quit successfully with your local stop smoking service than if try to stop smoking on your own.
Know your triggers. Do you smoke more when you are bored, drinking alcohol or when you are feeling stressed? Knowing what these are can help you find ways to avoid them.
Tell the people you care about what you are doing so that they can be there to help and support you.
Ask friends and family who smoke not to do so around you. Explain that you won’t be joining them on any smoke breaks.
One of the best ways to quit smoking for good is to combine different types of support. Call the free Stop Smoking London helpline on 0300 123 1044 to find out how you can get a personalised plan.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) using patches coupled with gum, spray or lozenges, when used correctly, will increase your chances of stopping for good.
From personalised quit plans to motivation boards there’s an app for that – find a list of apps and details on how to use them.
Ask for help. If you have tried and failed before or if you relapse – don’t give up! Each time you try to stop smoking you have an equal chance of success.