National No Smoking Day 2021: Helping you to give up smoking

Wednesday March 10th is National No Smoking Day, an annual event that takes place to help those who want to stop smoking, quit for good.

On this day, we are encouraged to reach out to friends and family members who suffer from nicotine addiction to offer the support they may need in order to stop smoking. And if you smoke yourself, National Stop Smoking Day is about empowering you to actively seek out some of the incredible support available to help you quit.

There’s no shying away from the health issues surrounding smoking. Smoking can significantly increase the risk of you developing chronic health issues such lung cancer, heart disease, stroke and lung diseases such as COPD, just to name a few.

The health benefits of stopping smoking

Making the decision to quit smoking may be a difficult one, however, it is one of the most positive and empowering moves you will ever make. Not only will you reap the benefits of a happier and healthier way of living, but you’ll also add years to your life!

8 hours after quitting – The nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in your blood are cut by half and your oxygen levels will return to normal.

24 hours after quitting – Carbon monoxide will completely leave the body; your lungs will start to clear out mucus and other smoking-related debris.

48 hours after quitting – All the nicotine has left your body, and your taste & smell will improve.

72 hours after quitting – Breathing becomes easier as your lungs will start to relax. You’ll find your energy levels should start to increase.

2-12 weeks after quitting – Your circulation will improve. Oxygenated blood flows around your body, improving your health.

3-9 months after quitting – Coughs and wheezing ease and how well you can breathe increases by up to 10%.

1 year smoke-free – Your risk of a heart attack reduces by half.

10 years smoke-free – Your risk of getting lung cancer reduces by half.

15 years smoke-free – Your risk of a heart attack decreases to the same as someone who has never smoked.



Save money when you quit smoking

Health benefits aside, when you stop smoking, you’ll save hundreds and even thousands in your first year alone.

Help Me Quit Wales has a handy cost calculator, so you can see how much money you’ll save when you quit smoking.

You can use the calculator here.

To put the cost savings into perspective, here’s an idea of the amount of money you could save when you stop smoking, based on smoking twenty cigarettes a day:

1 day £9.91
1 week £69.37
1 month £277.48
Every 6 months £1,803.62
1 year £3,607.24
10 years £36,072.40


After just six months, you could save enough for a family summer holiday and after a year, a new car!

We understand that giving up something that you are addicted to, like smoking, is no easy task. However, this is why it’s all the more important to reach out and utilise the help that’s available.

In fact, you are four times more likely to successfully quit smoking when accessing support in comparison to going it alone. See below for some great resources.


Ready to quit? There’s plenty of free help available!

Help Me Quit Wales

Help Me Quit Wales is an NHS service that provides free, effective and tailored support to help you quit smoking. The service recognises that not all smokers are the same and their needs will differ.

Help Me Quit wales offers NHS support by offering:

  • Free confidential and non-judgemental support from a friendly stop smoking expert
  • Support that is either face to face or over the phone
  • Support that is either one to one or a meeting with other smokers
  • Weekly sessions tailored to meet your needs
  • Monitoring your progress
  • Access to free stop smoking medication

Studies show that those who access this service are 300% more likely to succeed in stopping smoking.


Contacting Help Me Quit Wales

Smokers can call 0808 278 1369, Text HMQ to 80818 or visit the Help Me Quit website and request a call back.

To find out more to discover the achievements of others, watch their success stories here.



NHS Smokefree app

If you’d prefer to access help at your fingertips, the NHS Smokefree app is available on Apple and Google Play devices.

The app consists of a 4-week programme that offers practical support, encouragement and a personalised plan, all from your phone, including:

  • Daily support messages to help to motivate you
  • Badges to reward your progress
  • A savings calculator so you can see how much money you’re saving
  • Motivation tracker – this lets you take a picture to remind you why you’re giving up
  • Tips to help you with your craving and quitting journey

To find out more, you can visit the NHS Smokefree here.

If you are ready to make a positive change and quit smoking, or to help support a loved one who wants to quit smoking, visit Help Me Quit Wales or download the NHS Smokefree App to get your personalised quit plan.

You can also contact the practice to make an appointment with a GP Support officer who can provide you with helpful advice and support.