Smokers urged “it’s never too late to quit”

9 January 2023

Healthcare leaders at NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin are encouraging people across the county to quit smoking this New Year.

Smoking remains the single biggest behavioural cause of preventable illness and death in the UK. Around 50,000 adults in Shropshire smoke, and between 2019-2020 there were 3,443 smoking-related hospital admissions.

Dr Nick White, Chief Medical Officer at NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, said: “Thousands have successfully quit smoking and you can too. Make this January your fresh start.

“Stopping smoking is one of the best things you will ever do for your health. The sooner you quit, the sooner you'll notice improvements to your health, plus it’s never too late – stopping smoking brings immediate benefits to health, including people with an existing smoking-related disease.”

Advantages of quitting smoking are numerous and far-reaching, and not just for your health. On average a smoker could save £38 a week by quitting. That’s around £2,000 a year, which could go a long way to paying for other essential costs such as energy, childcare and food.

As part of a national NHS campaign this January, there’s a lot of help and support available for anyone who wants to quit smoking or vaping. These include the NHS Quit Smoking app, local support groups, an online Personal Quit Plan and the local stop smoking service look-up tool.

Why not pop into your local pharmacy, as they have a variety of help on offer including advice and signposting on which stop smoking aids could be helpful.

Dr White adds: “Stopping smoking can significantly improve your health in ways you might not expect. Once you stop smoking, some of the benefits are immediate and some are longer term.

“After 72 hours, the bronchial tubes begin to relax, breathing becomes easier and energy levels increase. After 3-9 months, coughs, wheezing and breathing problems improve as lung function increases by up to 10%. And after 1 year, the risk of heart attack has halved compared to a smoker.

“Quitting smoking can also help improve your mental health. Evidence shows that once people have got past the short-term withdrawal stage of quitting, they have reduced anxiety, depression and stress and increased positive mood compared with people who continue to smoke.

“We know it’s tough to quit smoking, but it’s certainly not impossible. Planning and making use of the free support services that are available can help you quit smoking for good.

“Try following the below steps and top tips.”

  1. Pick a quit date and add it to your calendar
  2. List your reasons to quit
  3. Use stop smoking aids to help manage cravings
  4. Change your routine if you smoke at certain times of day
  5. Tell people you are quitting
  6. If you’ve tried to quit before, remember what worked
  7. Have a plan if you are tempted to smoke
  8. List your smoking triggers and how to avoid them
  9. Keep cravings at bay by keeping busy
  10. Exercise away the urge

For further tips and support, search “Smoke Free” or visit the Better Health Quit Smoking website.


Page last updated 27 January 2023