Derry people urged to stop smoking this new year

The Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) Smoking Cessation Service is urging smokers to ‘make 2023 your year to quit’ and highlights the range of supports available from their Specialist Nursing Team.

Michelle Scott, Smoking Cessation Nurse Coordinator with the Western Trust encourages smokers to plan a quit date. She said: “It’s that time of the year again when everyone starts making their new year’s resolutions. Studies have shown that 70 percent of people who smoke do want to quit. Giving up smoking has huge benefits for both your health and your pocket. Support is available across the Western Trust area. Speak with our Trust Smoking Cessation Specialist Nursing Team, your local pharmacy or GP services. Today just might be the best day to start seriously thinking about quitting.”

Catherine Farren, Western Smoking Cessation Nurse Specialist for Derry, Limavady and Strabane areas said: “Start thinking about things which have prevented you from successfully stopping smoking for good before. Then plan how you are going to overcome these things and find the motivation to quit for good. We advise clients to take small steps, be accountable for your actions and embrace your desire to stop smoking. Remember, every beginning is difficult, but it gets easier from there on. It is a good idea when cravings arise to recall all those big and little reasons why you wanted to quit smoking in the first place.

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“Quitting smoking is a marathon rather than a sprint. It is not a one-time attempt, but a longer ongoing effort. You are four times more likely to succeed in stopping smoking if you join a smoke-free service like ours which can offer than ongoing specialist support.”

Quitting smoking.

Michelle said: “The Trust’s Smoking Cessation Specialist Nurse Service offer virtual support by phone and we will be re-introducing our community clinics in the New Year. We provide specialist advice and support and can also prescribe stop smoking medication if required. For further Information contact our dedicated free helpline number on 0800 9179388 and we will support you every step of the way. Make this year your year to quit.”

The Trust outlined the benefits of stopping smoking:

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20 mins – Your blood pressure and pulse rate should return to normal 24-48 Hours – Nicotine levels are diminished from the body and carbon monoxide levels return to that of a non-smoker 72 hrs – breathing becomes easier. Your bronchial tubes begin to relax and your energy levels increase 3- 9 months – Cough, wheezing and breathing problems get better as your lung function is increased. 1 year your risk of coronary heart disease is halved 5 years your risk of mouth, throat and oesophagus cancer decreases 10 years your risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker 15 years your risks of coronary heart disease are about the same as a non-smoker.

Additional benefits:

Improved appearance, warmer hands and feet, improved smell and taste. ( You could save on average £95.20 a week, £4,950 a year by stopping smoking (based on smoking 20 a day with the average cost of pack of 20 cigarettes at £13.60)