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Let 2014 be the year you really get to grips with your health. Why not make a New Year’s resolution to stop smoking for good? It could be the single best decision you make for your health.

Smoking is responsible for one of every five deaths in over-35s in England. In the United Kingdom as a whole, it claims approximately 120,000 victims each year.

That is more than 13 people every hour. The New Year is the perfect opportunity to make a change and improve your health.

The benefits of giving up smoking can often be noticeable very quickly, even immediately after giving up. Some examples of this are

  • after one hour: blood pressure falls and circulation begins to improve
  • after one day: the lungs begin the process of cleaning out mucus and other debris
  • after one week: bronchial passages relax, which makes breathing easier
  • after one month: circulation improves throughout the whole body. Skin should be clearer, appear brighter and be more hydrated
  • 3-9 months after stopping: your breathing should be much improved, and any cough or wheeze should have gone
  • 1 year after stopping smoking: your risk of a heart attack and heart disease should have decreased to about half of that of a smoker

How can I get help to stop smoking?

Although many people find the most effective way to stop smoking is to pick a day and resolve to stop (why not use New Year to make this change?), others find stopping smoking more difficult and need support and help. Compared with using just willpower alone, nicotine replacement therapy doubles success rates.

Our Stop Smoking section on totalpharmacy.co.uk details some of the options available to you.

Several different forms of Nicorette can be purchased through our website, which is a Nicotine replacement therapy intended for people who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day.

There is also a stronger, Prescription-Only Treatment, which can be purchased through our totalpharmacy.co.uk online doctor service.

Other sources of advice and help are local pharmacy clinics. Health education and health promotion units also provide free leaflets, give advice and some run stop smoking groups.

Telephone support providing help in stopping smoking and information on local services:

NHS Smoking Helpline: 0800 169 0 169   -7am- 11pm every day or textphone 0800 169 0 171

For further online help and support, visit gosmokefree.co.uk

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