The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is today urging Mansfield’s smokers to get the support of local stop smoking services to help them quit on this year’s No Smoking Day on 12th March.
Recent figures have shown that 24 per cent of adults in Mansfield smoke – which is higher than the national average of 20 per cent.
Half of all long-term smokers die because of their addiction to tobacco, making smoking one of the most pressing health concerns in the area, according to the BHF.
Research from stop smoking services shows that smokers are four times more likely to be effective in quitting if they use specialist stop smoking support and treatment.
Dr Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the BHF, said: “Quitting smoking is the single best thing you can do to improve your health.
“Stubbing the cigarettes out will significantly reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and a variety of cancers and you’ll have more money to spend on things that you enjoy.
“We know that quitting isn’t easy but last year nearly a million smokers used No Smoking Day to try and mark the start of their smoke free future.
“We’re encouraging people to get support from their local stop smoking service now and join forces with other would-be quitters across the UK on the 12th March, to win the battle with cigarettes once and for all.”
Although two-thirds of smokers want to give up, BHF research shows that one in four (25 per cent) in the region are putting it off because they are concerned about putting on weight.
The poll of 2000 smokers also revealed that one in six (17 per cent) in the region have lit up after a meal to stop them eating more.
Victoria Taylor, senior heart health dietitian at the BHF, said: “Some smoker’s feel they need to smoke to keep trim but contrary to the urban myth, you don’t have to consign yourself to an early grave in order to stay in control of your waistline.
“We’re encouraging people to start their own battle plan now by following our tips and filling their fridge and handbag with healthy snacks to help them ditch the cigarettes for good on No Smoking Day and come out looking better than ever.”
More than 100,000 smokers in the UK die from smoking related causes each year, including around 22,000 from heart and circulatory diseases and 45,000 from cancer.
The BHF’s annual No Smoking Day campaign encouraged a million people to attempt to quit smoking last year. This year’s ‘V for Victory’ theme is set to inspire even more people to win the fight against cigarettes and quit for good on 12th March.
Victoria Taylor, BHF dietitian, has shared her tips on how to help minimise weight gain during the quitting process and keep the weight off once you’ve given up for good:
Brush your teeth or try chewing some sugar free gum when you get a craving for a cigarette. The clean feeling in your mouth and minty taste can help to deter you from smoking and it can also help to curb cravings or urges to eat too.
Keeping your hands busy can be important when you are trying to give up. Avoid the temptation to keep nibbling and try playing a word or number game on your phone, doing some cleaning around the house or fiddly tasks that we often put off, like sewing.
Set aside 30 minutes five times a week for getting active. It can help you to manage stress and will also use up some energy which is perfect for helping you to stick with your quit as well as manage your weight.
For more top tips, information and support on quitting, visit: nosmokingday.org.uk