‘Swap fags for Swag’ event provides advice

Smokers in Angus were being encouraged to ‘swap fags for swag’ and kick the habit for good on No Smoking Day last week.

NHS Tayside smoking cessation workers, along with Big Cig, were at Tesco in Forfar encouraging people to ditch the cigarettes and highlighting what they could buy with the money they save.

Smokers had the opportunity to get information and advice about NHS Tayside’s quit4u and Give It Up For Baby schemes, smoking cessation groups and pharmacy support, including Nicotine Replacement Therapy and other aids to assist with a quit attempt.

The team also offered free carbon monoxide tests, which allowed people to see how they measure up next to healthy lungs and smokers’ lungs and may give smokers that extra incentive to quit.

Around a million people try to quit on No Smoking Day every year and this year’s theme of ‘Swap Fags for Swag’ aimed to encourage smokers to think about what they will gain when they quit – as well as improved health, they’ll have extra cash to spend on whatever they like.

There are many health benefits to quitting smoking.

20 minutes after quitting your blood pressure and pulse return to normal.

48 hours - no nicotine is left in your body. Your senses of taste and smell are greatly improved.

72 hours - your breathing becomes easier and your energy levels increase.

2-12 weeks after quitting smoking your circulation improves and exercise can be easier.

3-9 months - any coughs, wheezing and breathing problems improve.

Within five years the risk of heart attack is halved.

Within 10 years the risk of lung cancer is halved and the risk of heart attack is at the same level as non-smokers.

Medium to long term – stopping smoking at any age increases your life expectancy, provided you stop before the onset of serious disease. Even if you have developed a disease, you can benefit from stopping as your body will be under less strain and be able to fight it more easily.

Giving up smoking is the single most important lifestyle decision that anyone can make to improve their health immediately.

Anyone who wants to stop smoking can call NHS Tayside Smoke Free Services on 0845 600 999 6 to find out about all the ways in which NHS Tayside can help support people to become smoke-free.

You can also join the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nhstaysidesmokefree