• The Effects of Smoking

    As you know, smoking affects you as well as the people around you. In this section, we discuss the real impact of smoking in our lives.

    When you quit smoking, avoiding temptation and old habits is a challenge – especially when it comes to being around people you used to smoke with. These tips will help you kick the habit - without losing touch with all of your friends in the process

    Change of scene7

    If you have friends you used to light-up with, it can be tricky knowing how to stop smoking without having to stop seeing them. How about suggesting a change of scene, one which doesn’t revolve around cigarettes? If Friday night catch-ups with friends usually involved a glass of wine and cigarette at a local bar, perhaps dinner and a movie might be better, or even a daytime outing to see an exhibition, or a walk. If nipping out for a cigarette break at work was a chance for a good chat with your colleague, why not ask them if they’d like to have a weekly coffee or lunch? Quitting needn’t mean you miss out on socialising – it just takes a little imagination and flexibility. And it might mean you discover new things in the process – bonus!

    Be prepared1

    You want to stop smoking – not completely isolate yourself and miss out on all the fun. Avoiding certain places and scenarios for a while when you quit is understandable, and you might feel the need to say ‘no’ to some social invitations until your cravings have died down. But some invitations you simply won’t want to refuse, like a birthday celebration or an important work function, and you don’t have to – just make sure you’re prepared. Having a suitable nicotine replacement product to hand will help ensure you don’t give in to temptation if the urge to light up gets too strong.

    Surround yourself with support7

    Most people are well aware that stopping smoking is 100% a good thing! And people understand quitting is a challenge and requires bag-loads of willpower, therefore most will be supportive of your decision. However, there might be the odd occasion when people aren’t supportive, and may even encourage you to have a cigarette. ‘Ah, go on, one won’t hurt’. One will hurt! As it could easily lead to two, three, four… Explain that quitting is very important to you. If they still refuse to change their tune, it might help to avoid being around them for a while. There are plenty of people who will be supportive and help you stay on track.

    Motivation top-ups9

    A number one rule for stopping smoking is to focus on the positives. Yes, it can feel like a huge effort to quit – but think of all the money you’ll save from no longer buying cigarettes, how much your health and skin will improve, and how much happier your loved ones will be when you’ve kicked the habit. Keep reminding yourself of these positives – put a note on your desk or stick a list on your fridge, even a picture of the dream holiday you’ll be able to afford one day as a result, as a daily reminder. Staying focused on these things will help you stay motivated, which will come in extra handy when you’re faced with saying ‘no’ to a cigarette with colleagues at break time, or going out at the weekend. Find out more about the gum range of NICORETTE® products available to help you to be prepared or listen to stories for people that have been stopping smoking here.

     

    Age takes its toll on everybody’s looks eventually, but research suggests a link between grey hairs and wrinkles appearing sooner for smokers. Here’s a look at how cigarettes can speed up the ageing process…

    Skin

    Some quick science: with every cigarette you smoke, you breathe in 4 ,000 harmful chemicals . One of these, acetaldehyde, attacks the connective tissue holding your skin together. Or put more simply, it makes your face sag, wrinkle and age. Smoking also saps the body of vitamin C, an antioxidant which plays a crucial role in the production of collagen – a natural protein vital for keeping skin healthy and supple. Circulation can suffer as a result of smoking, too, meaning oxygen isn’t pumped around your blood vessels as well as it should be, resulting in a dull, sullen complexion. All in all, when it comes to skin, smoking is a recipe for speedy ageing! All hope is not lost though - quitting smoking will quickly improve your skin’s blood supply again. Within six weeks, your complexion should be noticeably brighter. For an extra boost, use all the money you’re saving not buying cigarettes treating yourself to a luxurious anti-aging moisturiser!

    Teeth

    Let’s face it, smoker’s breath isn’t known for being pleasant. But smokers have more than pungent breath to contend with… One of the first things people notice about you is your smile, so it’s important to make sure it’s a good one. But brushing and flossing to keep your grin looking fresh and young is pointless if you continue smoking. The toxic chemicals in cigarette tobacco also create sticky ‘tar’ residues all over your teeth. Smoking also reduces the amount of saliva that’s in your mouth, resulting in stained and discoloured teeth . Another effect of smoking is an increased risk of periodontitis – or gum disease - which causes inflammation around the teeth leading to swollen gums, bad breath and in severe cases may even cause teeth to fall out .

    Stopping smoking, or cutting down, is the only way to ensure things are all-white again. Why not use some of the money you’d normally spend on cigarettes on some special whitening toothpaste?

    Hair

    A new hair-cut has amazing magical powers to make you feel better and younger – unless you’re a smoker, that is. As well as your skin and teeth, those toxic chemicals in cigarettes could be the cause of lacklustre locks, too . As already highlighted, smoking affects circulation which can impact your body – and looks – in so many ways. And poor circulation has another hair horror to answer for – research suggests it could lead to premature greying, too – something that’s instantly ageing . Thankfully, when you stop smoking, you should see improvements in the condition of your hair too, leaving it softer and a glossy shine could return.

    Find out how much with our budget calculator tool or use the solution finder to find a product that could suit you, whether you are cutting down or quitting smoking altogether.

     

    Stopping smoking is a positive step for you and the people around you...

    Your partner

    Put simply, no one likes kissing someone with bad breath. And, put equally simply, smoking causes bad breath. Smoking doesn’t just make your breath smell of cigarettes, it can also lead to gum disease, another common cause of halitosis. But stopping smoking and smoker’s breath will be a thing of the past, meaning minty-fresh kisses from now on! All the money you’ll save by quitting smoking will be music to your partner’s ears, too, especially when it comes to having some extra cash for meals out and holidays together.

    Your friends

    Don’t you hate it when you’re having a nice drink with a friend, then you suddenly leap up and dash outside for a cigarette, leaving you alone in the cold and missing the fun inside? When the desire for a cigarette is so strong, it’s easy not to stop and think about what you are abandoning, but using willpower and NICORETTE® means that you won’t have to leave for that cigarette. Your friend’s will be delighted if you quit, because they care about you. And also because you’ll be around to enjoy their pleasant company!

    Work colleague

    When you’re tired, stressed and up against deadlines, it’s easy to seek comfort by sneaking out of the office for a calming cigarette break. But reports have shown that over a year, smokers can spend up to five weeks away from their desks taking what they think of as ‘quick’ breaks. Nobody wants to be thought of as shirking their workload. Ease office relations – and make your day more productive - by quitting smoking and focussing your energy on enjoying work.

    Your children

    A recent survey found that 98% of children wished their parents would stop smoking, and nearly half said their parent’s smoking made them feel ill . Another survey revealed that 29% of smokers admit their kids and family hate them smoking, and a quarter confessed that they enjoy cigarettes less because of how guilty this makes them feel. Indeed, for many people, children and family are a big reason for wanting to quit. Kids aren’t silly – they learn about the health dangers of smoking at school. And they probably worry about you a great deal. If you smoke around your children, their health could be at risk from passive smoke too. If that’s not reason enough, think of the extra treats you’ll be able to enjoy as a family with the money saved from quitting. Days out, weekend trips to the cinema, or even that dream family holiday… You’ll all reap the rewards.

    Use the budget calculator and find out how much you could save from stopping smoking.

     

    Giving up smoking is hard, but supporting someone trying to quit isn’t easy either. Here are some ideas of ways you can help your loved ones stop smoking and see the benefits of leaving cigarettes behind

    Create incentives

    It’s human nature to want to be rewarded for hard work. Of course, the main reward for stopping smoking is that your loved one will be healthier, happier and richer. But it’s a nice idea to add something more to that. Set up a pact that if they quit smoking for a week, you’ll cook them a nice dinner. If they stop for a month, you’ll take them out for a meal. You could start a special ‘money jar’ where you both donate the cash that would have been spent on cigarettes, and promise to buy them a big present when they’ve given up for good.

    Avoid temptation

    If you’ve always enjoyed evenings with a friend or partner in a pub, it’s easy to think that’s the only way you can relax together. To help someone quit smoking though, you may need to change some of your social habits too. Think of other places you could meet, away from the old temptations that fuelled their habit, like being surrounded by other social smokers. How about going to the cinema, for a country walk, or even checking out an art exhibition? You’ll help your loved one avoid temptation, and you’ll both be doing new things in the process. Don’t forget to remove temptations at home too - ensure all ashtrays and lighters are out of the house.

    Allow for bad moods

    Lots of good things happen when you stop smoking, but in the short term quitters face challenges – giving up cigarettes will test their patience and willpower, and this might mean a few mood swings along the way. Accept it might be tough and your friend or partner’s moods might be a bit up and down for a while. Be understanding and keep them motivated by reminding them of all the positive benefits quitting smoking will bring, and (within reason!) let the odd grumpy mood slide and allow them a bit of slack if they snap more than normal.

    Show your support

    By deciding to quit smoking, your loved one is changing their lifestyle for the better - so why not inspire them to keep going? You can surprise them with treats to keep them motivated. Not only are you showing support in them stopping smoking but also giving them something to work towards.

    Don’t judge

    Of course you want your loved one to give up smoking, and you want to be there for them 100% of the way. Be careful that this support doesn’t edge over into over-bearing control though. If your partner slips up and has one cigarette from time to time, don’t judge them or tell them off. Accept that quitting is a long journey, and simply promise to stand by them every step of the way.