Stop Smoking

Quit smoking and get your life back

Imagine if you could set yourself free from cigarettes for life. Check the YouTube video at the top of this page by Nicorette for an inspiring story of how Lizzie gave up smoking.

Millions of people worldwide manage to kick the habit every year. You can too. Whether you're trying to quit for the first time, or you've tried before and failed, It's the most worthwhile thing you can do. You're far more likely to succeed if you have a support network of like-minded people. So if you're in a relationship and your partner smokes, support each other by giving up together. And now there's a 'quit smoking buddy' option on the Fitness Buddy social network on this site, free to join and use, so you can chat to other Londoners who are trying to stop smoking, and encourage each other. Amazingly there are still around 8 million people in the UK who still smoke. If you're one of them, do yourself a favour and quit asap!

I bet you've heard people say "I'll make it my New Year's resolution to stop smoking".Don't wait till the new year to quit, do it now! Over 12 millon people in the UK have managed to quit, and so can you.

There's a lot of help out there - ring the NHS Smoking Helpline on 0800 1690169 (soon changing to 0300 123 1044). There are trained counsellors waiting to give you advice and encouragement.

As I tell my personal training clients in London: if you're a smoker, the biggest single thing you can do to improve your health is to stop as soon as possible. It should be your absolute top priority. You'll look and feel so much better when you stop, and your body will immediately start to repair itself and recover from the poisoning it has suffered.

Smoking Causes Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Public Health England has launched a campaign to warn smokers of the dangers of COPD, an irreversible lung disease which attacks the lungs' ability to take in oxygen. Former olympic sprinter Iwan Thomas is the public face of this campaign, which features a video showing people climbing stairs with a restrictive mask to simulate the effects of the disease: extreme breathlessness and inability to perform even the simplest physical tasks without becoming fatigued.

COPD starts with a smokers' cough, and quickly progresses to shortness of breath at the slightest physical exertion. The best way to avoid getting this disease is to quit smoking as the absolute top priority in your life.

What can we learn from China's health policy?

The Chinese President Xi Jinping is on a state visit to the UK, and the newspapers are discussing what kind of leader he is. I was interested to see what his policy on smoking was, as this is a major health problem in China. The answer: absolutely no attempt to reduce smoking in China's population. We should be proud in Britain that our government is at least making small attempts to encourage us to quit smoking.

Are eCigarettes safe?

They contain nicotine, which is an addictive toxin. Enough said! Although there's an argument that it's better to be addicted just to nicotine than to cigarettes which have so many other poisons, surely it's better not to be addicted to either.

What triggers your desire to smoke? It varies from person to person. For some people it's stress, so it's worth addressing the underlying causes of your stress. For others it's social situations, where you're around friends who also smoke. Why not take the lead and encourage your friends to quit too? As a personal trainer in London for over a decade, I'm proud to say I've encouraged several clients to quit this deadly habit.

Some of the benefits of giving up smoking:

  1. Your breath will be much fresher (more enjoyable for people near you too, particularly if they want to kiss you!)
  2. Your skin will become healthier and look younger. Smoking robs your skin of oxygen and nutrients, making it dry and wrinkled. T can lead to psoriasis, a painful and ugly skin condition which afflicts many older smokers
  3. Your teeth and gums will become healthier. Smokers run a far higher risk of yellowing teeth, cavities, receding gums and other forms of gum disease, tooth loss, and mouth cancer (a particularly nasty form of cancer).
  4. When you quit, your lungs will start to recover rapidly, and you'll be able to breathe properly again. It's amazing how the body is able to heal itself, even after many years of being poisoned. Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide (that's what kills people when they commit suicide with the car exhaust). Smoking is just a very slow form of suicide.
  5. You will store less body-fat around the waist and chest area. Smoking damages your endocrine system, so your hormonal activity is damaged, causing many problems including abnormal weight distribution around the waist and upper body - a key factor in heart disease. Visceral fat, the toxic fat which builds up around your vital organs such as your liver and kidneys, is harder to burn off if you smoke cigarettes.
  6. You will save thousands of pounds over the years, which you can spend on holidays, pay off debts, join a gym, hire a personal trainer. The possiblilities are endless. Keep a record of how much money you save, and reward your self with more healthy treats. One person I know who quit, spend their money on better quality food, such as fillet steak, more expensive fresh fish, quinoa, more vegetables.
  7. You will drastically cut your risk of getting lung cancer - the most common cause of cancer death in the UK - it kills 33,600 people in the UK every year. 90% of lung cancers are caused by active/passive smoking. Other cancers caused by smoking include cancer of the throat, oesphagus (food pipe), stomach, and small intestine.
  8. Your sense of taste will start to recover, so you can enjoy the subtle taste of healthy and nutritious food again. Check out This Week's Recipe page for healthy recipes.
  9. You'll be perceived by others as someone who wants to live life to the full, which is a universally attractive quality.
  10. You'll be far better able to handle stress. Ironic, because many smokers think smoking helps reduce stress, when in fact it's doing the opposite in the long term.
  11. If you're HIV positive, you'll respond far better to treatment if you quit smoking.
  12. People around you will be able to breathe cleaner air. Surely your loved ones deserve not to be poisoned!

The 5 deadliest poisons in cigarette smoke

  1. carbon monoxide
  2. arsenic
  3. cyanide
  4. formaldehyde
  5. toluene

Some of these chemicals are used in rat poison. Why would anyone want to breathe in rat poison? And worse still, some of these same chemicals were used in poison gas during the second world war. Not all smokers realise that they're literally poisoning themselves.

Just over half of all regular smokers will die prematurely from smoking. Those are pretty nasty odds for any gambler, and the downside is a slow and painful death. Smoking is more dangerous than playing than Russian Roulette where the odds are 6 to 1. Don't ruin your life, get help to stop smoking now. What could be more important than your own health and wellbeing, having fresh breath, a good sex life, more energy and greater resistance to disease? And if you have kids, you obviously want to protect them from being poisoned by cigarette smoke, don't you?

Nicotine replacement therapy

If you've tried to quit and failed, ask your doctor about nicotine replacement therapy. It's the nicotine that's addictive, so a mild dose of nicotine withouth the harmful gases and tar that cigarettes produce, might be the answer. There are several forms of nicotine replacement therapy, such as patches, lozenges, gum, nasal spray.

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