Occupational Health Service: no smoking day - 14 March

29 February 2012

No smoking day

No smoking day is an annual health awareness day in the United Kingdom, intended to help smokers who want to quit. The national campaign makes a big impact, helping millions of smokers each year to take a step forward towards quitting, and thousands to give up for good.

Health benefits

Quitting smoking has immediate health benefits. Your blood pressure and pulse return to normal after only 20 minutes without a cigarette. Within a day, the carbon monoxide level in your blood returns to normal. Within two weeks to three months your risk of a heart attack decreases and your lungs begin to function better. Long-term benefits include a reduced risk for coronary heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, and other cancers. Quitting will also reduce the risk of gum disease.

Financial benefits

In addition to health benefits, there are monetary rewards to consider. Find out the health and monetary benefits for you by using the smoking calculator.

Don’t do it alone

It may be tempting to toss your cigarettes in the bin and declare you’ve quit, but going cold turkey isn’t that easy and increases your chances of relapse. If you want to quit smoking, your GP can provide help and advice and point you in the right direction for treatment and support in your area to help find the way that best suits you; be it nicotine patches or gum, face to face or group meetings. You can start planning now using the ‘Quit Kit’ to take an addiction test, and get useful tips on how to boost your willpower. For more information visit the NHS ‘Smokefree’ website or call 0800 022 4 3332.

Your Employees Assistance Programme also provides support and guidance for any practical or emotional issues, which include dependency on tobacco. To receive information and guidance from qualified counsellors contact your employee assistance programme (Username: UCL Password: employee) or call on 0800 243 45824. This service is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week to all UCL staff.

Further support

http://www.ash.org.uk/information

Find your local service

http://www.wequit.co.uk/help_to_quit/local_service.htm

British Heart Foundation

http://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/prevention/smoking.aspx

Elaine Fletcher, Occupational Health Services, Human Resources