It was recently No Smoking Day and across the country people are trying to stop smoking, or beginning to think about it.
If you think you’d like to stop smoking, or know someone who might, we’re here to help you with some facts, statistics, and advice.
Let’s start with some statistics. In Wales 23% of people smoke, which costs £380m a year for the NHS. Encouragingly, these figures are decreasing as more people stop smoking. (Source: www.bma.org.uk)
Looking specifically at children, 4% of children under 16 in Wales regularly smoke, with 18% of under 16’s in the UK having tried it. 40% of regular smokers in the UK started smoking under the age of 16. (Source: www.cancerresearchuk.org)
Quitting can be one of the hardest things for someone to do but it’s clear to anyone that the health and financial benefits are numerous. It can be hard to encourage your child to quit without them feeling that you’re nagging or that you’re out of touch. But given the numerous health problems that come side by side with smoking, it can be a great worry to parents when they find out their child smokes and you’re very likely to want to try and help them quit.
You may also be a parent or guardian who is trying to stop smoking for the benefit of your children. Guilt is fired from all directions when you’re a parent who smokes. For many adults, they have reverted back to their childhood selves, when it was smoking in secret behind the bike shed – only now it’s behind the shed in the garden so the kids don’t see. You can’t smoke inside enclosed public places anymore. You can’t smoke in your car anymore. There’s stigma attached to smoking, so is it time to quit?
The good news is that there’s plenty of free help out there for you or your child to quit. You don’t have to do it alone.
A great source that can help young people is thefilterwales.org. This is a great website aimed at young people catching their attention with facts about beavers bums and yellowing teeth! They have great tips such as keeping busy, getting support from friends and family and listing your reasons to quit. Another feature which may make your child stop and think is the figures showing what you could save, and what you could buy, if you quit smoking for a year e.g. 5 cigarettes a day for a year could save you £693.50 a year – that’s a lot to go towards computer games, a smartphone or a family holiday!
Photo Credit: mendhak
If you’re looking for support for yourself or another family member take a look at www.stopsmokingwales.com. Here you can find one to one support near you as well as great advice about how to cope with cravings, how to avoid weight gain and handling stress.
You can also contact your local GP to see what advice and help they can give you.
Whether you’ve decided to go cold turkey or seek help to quit smoking we wish you luck with it.