Each year in Scotland, smoking contributes to 13,000 deaths and tobacco is the biggest preventable cause of death. Giving up smoking is the single best thing that you can do for your health - and it's never too late to stop.
Smoking is associated with more than 85 per cent of lung cancer cases and if you smoke more than 25 cigarettes a day, you're 25 times more likely to get lung cancer than a non-smoker.
But if you stop smoking for five or more years, your risk of lung cancer - as well as other cancers and stroke - is significantly reduced.
The benefits of stopping smoking can be felt almost immediately. Within just 20 minutes of your last cigarette, your heart rate will have returned to normal, and within 24 hours, your oxygen and carbon monoxide levels will also have returned to normal.
Giving up cigarettes will also improve your lung function and blood supply, reducing the effect of premature ageing.
And it's not just your health that will benefit. A 20-a-day smoker who stops for 28 days could save up to £300 per month - that adds up to more than £3,000 a year.
It's not just smokers who are harmed by cigarette smoke. Second-hand smoke has many negative health impacts, including recurring coughs, colds and infections, and chest problems such as wheezing, asthma and bronchitis.
Most second-hand smoke is invisible - you can't see it and you can't smell it, but it lingers for up to five hours after your cigarette has been stubbed out, and it can pass from room to room.
Children inhale more second-hand smoke than adults because they breather deeper and faster.
The only way to fully protect your family from exposure to second-hand smoke is to take it outside. Why not consider asking friends and relatives to smoke outside or before they arrive? If it's not safe to go outside to smoke, you could use nicotine replacement products to help. And try to refrain from smoking until you need to go outside, for example to the shops.
Remember, buying tobacco for under 18s is illegal and can result in a penalty of £90-£2,500.
Giving up smoking may not be easy, but there is lots of support available to help you.
- you are three times more likely to stop smoking by using a product and attending one of our stop smoking clinics
- think about why you want to stop smoking - make a list and remind yourself when you get cravings
- plan ahead - by planning and preparing, you increase your chance of success
- think about triggers and association and what you can do to prevent or overcome them
- changing your morning routine can set you up for the rest of your smokefree day
- breaking the link between the situation and smoking can help break the habit.
Want to give up smoking? You can do it and we can help. Contact the Quit Your Way Team on 01505 821316 or come along to one of our clinics for specialist stop smoking support and access to free stop smoking products (nicotine replacement products/Varenicline):
- Monday: Charleston Centre, Paisley, 10am-noon (drop-in)
- Monday: Renfrew Health and Social Work Centre, 3pm-5pm (drop-in)
- Tuesday: Lloyds Pharmacy, Tannahill Centre, Ferguslie Park, 09.45am-11.45am (drop-in)
- Tuesday: Lloyds Pharmacy, Bridge Street, Linwood, 10am-12 noon and 2pm-4pm (drop-in)
- Wednesday: Johnstone Health Centre, 6.30pm-7.30pm (group)
You can also pop into any pharmacy within Renfrewshire and register for the Quit Your Way Pharmacy Service to receive stop smoking support and access to free stop smoking products.
Follow the Quit Your Way Team and Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GGC) Quit Your Way Scotland online via Facebook and Twitter (see website links section for further information), where you can read testimonials from those have gone through, or are going through, our service to stop smoking and also find out information about local services.
Alternatively, you can find information about both local services and those outwith Renfrewshire or register online for a class, via the GGC Quit Your Way Scotland website (see website links section for further information).