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Graphic with the words 'Healthier lungs are my big reason to quit smoking'

Quit for good with free tools and support

by Sandra Issar

Many people will have set themselves goals for 2022. If one of yours is to stop smoking, there’s lots of free proven tools and support to help you quit for good this year.

We’re probably all aware that giving up smoking is good for your health, not to mention your finances, and now experts have found that adults who smoke increase the likelihood of their kids taking up smoking, and children whose caregivers smoke are four times as likely to take up smoking themselves.

Exposing members of your household to second-hand smoke can also mean they are less protected against COVID-19 and the risk is greater to children and those with existing health conditions.

So, this January, the Better Health Smoke Free campaign is encouraging adult smokers to quit – not only for themselves but also to reduce the chances of their children becoming future smokers.

There’s a whole host of free support for those looking to quit, including free expert help from local Stop Smoking Services, the NHS Quit Smoking app, Facebook messenger bot, Stoptober Facebook online communities, daily emails and SMS, and an online Personal Quit Plan.

Cllr Christine Bannon, Knowsley Council Cabinet Member for Health, said:

“If you are a smoker, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your own health, allowing you to start moving better, breathe more easily and save money – and now the latest research shows the impact adult smoking has on children taking up smoking themselves. The most effective way to help prevent this would be for adults to quit smoking – clearly not only does this have enormous benefits for them but it will also benefit their children both now and in later life.”


“Even if you’ve tried before and didn’t manage don’t give up on quitting because you can do it. Many smokers try several times before they succeed but getting the right support and using stop smoking aids to help ease the cravings, gives you a much better chance of success.”

Deputy Chief Medical Officer and joint lead for the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy said:

“Most people know the dangers of second smoke, but we should not overlook the impact that parents have as role models. Every parent wants what is best for their child and will not want them to become smokers. By stopping smoking now, parents can help break the pattern of smoking in their family across the generations, protect their children and improve their own health.”

Local support to help you quit

Smokefree Knowsley, Knowsley’s stop smoking service, continues to offer specialist support for Knowsley residents to quit smoking, including those who are pregnant.

To find out more about services available or to access support from Knowsley Stop Smoking Service call 0151 426 7462, text quit to 61825 (normal network charge) or visit the website: www.smokefreeknowsley.org.uk

If you prefer you can use your local pharmacy stop smoking services. Please contact your local pharmacy for more information.

Giving up has many benefits

Smoking damages the lungs, weakens the immune system and causes a range of severe respiratory problems. COVID-19 is a respiratory infection that affects the lungs and airways. As well as reducing the risks from complications from coronavirus, quitting smoking quickly improves your circulation and your breathing.

Smoking of any kind, not just cigarettes, but cannabis or any other substances increases health risks such as heart disease, respiratory disease and cancer at a time when the NHS is under strain from COVID-19.

The average smoker can also save £1,875.60, a year by quitting smoking.

Once smokefree, there are very real health benefits with the body continuing to repair the longer you stay smokefree. The immediate benefits include:

  • After 8 hours harmful carbon monoxide levels in blood reduce by more than half and oxygen levels return to normal.
  • After 48 the body has flushed out all carbon monoxide, lungs start to clear out mucus and ability to taste and smell is improved
  • After 72 hours breathing becomes easier as bronchial tubes begin to relax
  • After 2 to 12 weeks lung function and blood circulation start to improve, making physical activity like walking and running easier
  • After 3 to 9 months any coughs, wheezing or breathing problems will be improving as your lung function increases further
  • After 1 year your risk of heart attack has halved compared to a smoker. Research also suggests that people who have quit for a year are happier than those who continue to smoke.

In the longer term quitting is also linked to reduced depression, anxiety, and stress and improved positive mood and quality of life compared with continuing to smoke.

For support, advice and free tools to quit smoking from Knowsley Stop Smoking Service call 0151 426 7462, text quit to 61825 (normal network charge) or visit the website: www.smokefreeknowsley.org.uk