The winter flu season – no better time to quit smoking?


London: The smoking ban, which came into effect earlier this year, leaves the UK’s 12 million smokers facing a very bleak winter… So if hanging outside in the bitter cold to indulge in a cigarette doesn’t seem like such a good idea any more, there really is no better time to finally kick the habit.

The good news for those determined to stop smoking this season is that from the moment you have your last cigarette, your body begins to heal. It only takes 20 minutes for your blood pressure to return to normal. Within 24 hours the carbon monoxide levels in your blood will drop. After 48 hours nicotine is eliminated from the body and there’s an improvement in taste and smell. If giving up for just two days can have this kind of effect, just imagine how good you’ll feel if you give up for good.

But trying to go it alone in your quit attempt is not the route to success, only 3% of smokers who attempt to quit using willpower alone are smokefree a year later. But, it seems even brief advice from a healthcare professional can increase the likelihood of a smoker staying off cigarettes by up to 30%. As support is fundamental to quitting, a campaign called SERIOUSQUITTERS has launched to offer just that, a support system for those aiming to stub it out for good.

TV presenter Kate Thornton was herself a former smoker, explains why she is supporting the new Serious Quitters campaign: “Giving up smoking was one of the hardest but also one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. I would urge any smoker to stop and really think about what they are doing to themselves every time they light up. I never ever thought I could do it. That is why I am urging smokers who want to quit to access the information and support available from SERIOUSQUITTERS and hopefully taking the first step in stopping for good.”

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