Islanders who are looking to stop smoking in the New Year are being encouraged to turn to local pharmacists or Health and Community Services’ Help2Quit for support.
Help2Quit says people are more successful at quitting smoking in January than at any other time of the year. In January this year, 147 people set a date to stop smoking and 79 (54%) of them managed to successfully quit. The service now hopes to build upon this number by getting more islanders to make it a New Year’s resolution to stop lighting up.
Dr Rhona Reardon, Help2Quit Lead Nurse, said: "Stopping smoking can be difficult and whilst many people do quit and stay quit, some people will relapse. We want to encourage people who may have used the service previously, but who have started smoking again, to come back and get support. We also want to encourage anyone else who hasn’t used the service to give it a go."
The drive to get islanders to stop smoking in January comes after a successful Stoptober campaign – an annual event in October which challenges people to quit smoking for a month. This Stoptober 94 Islanders took on the challenge and set a quit date compared to 73 in October 2018.
Dr Reardon said: "If you missed the Stoptober challenge, then why not use New Year to make the change? People often underestimate how difficult quitting smoking is, of those who try and do it alone, only 4% will be smoke-free after one year. However, a person’s success of quitting is increased greatly by using our stop smoking service and stop smoking medication."
Sara Kynicos, Superintendent Pharmacist at Cooperative Pharmacy Locale, added: "After Christmas, thoughts turn to the New Year and with 22 pharmacies offering stop smoking support in convenient locations around the island, you’re sure to find one near you. Smokers who would like to quit can see an adviser before the New Year who will help you make a plan for quitting in January."
Smokers, who want to find out more about Help2Quit which has two specially trained nurses, can visit gov.je/stopsmoking or call 0800 7351155.
The benefits of stopping smoking:
After 20 minutes: Blood pressure and pulse return to normal.
After 8 hours: Nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in blood reduce by half and oxygen levels return to normal.
After 48 hours: Carbon monoxide will be eliminated from the body. Lungs start to clear out mucus and other smoking debris. Ability to taste and smell is greatly improved.
After 72 hours: Breathing becomes easier. Bronchial tubes begin to relax and energy levels increase.
After 2-12 weeks: Circulation improves.
After 3-9 months: Coughs, wheezing and breathing problems improve as lung function increases by up to 10%.
After 5 years: The chance of having a heart attack is halved, compared to a smoker.
After 10 years: Risk of lung cancer falls to half that of a smoker. Risk of a heart attack falls to the same as someone who has never smoked.