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This new year, swap smoking for more money and better mental health!

2:47 pm, Tuesday, 9th January 2024 - 6 months ago

Health and wellbeing

Stopping smoking is often referred to as ‘giving up’, but this new year, North East Lincolnshire Council are focusing on the gains. By swapping cigarettes to safer forms of nicotine, such as patches, gum or a vape you can save hundreds of pounds, whilst improving your mental and physical health significantly when you remove the harmful tobacco from your life.  

Dave Jones, Tobacco Programme Manager for the Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board said:

The thought of stopping smoking can seem overwhelming and very final. For many smokers, their days are organised around smoking habits.

Swapping to an effective replacement means that the harmful tobacco is removed, without the discomfort of nicotine withdrawal, leading to improved energy, breathing, taste and smell within days, not to mention saving lots of money! A great tip to keep up your motivation is to put the money that you would have spent on cigarettes in a jar, so you see exactly how much you have saved.”

Once people have got used to not smoking tobacco and are ready to move onto the next stage, nicotine replacement products can be gradually reduced until no longer needed at all. Studies show that once a person is nicotine free, mental health can dramatically improve, with reduced anxiety, depression, and stress.

Councillor Stan Shreeve, portfolio holder for health, wellbeing and adult social care at North East Lincolnshire Council, said:

There is a misconception that smoking relieves anxiety, when in fact, it creates it. The relief that people feel when they have a cigarette is because they are giving their body the drug (nicotine) that it has been withdrawing from.

“If you are feeling anxious about the thought of stopping smoking, getting support from our stop smoking service can really help. Someone is with you every step of the way, from making a plan, through to providing a prescription for nicotine replacement items and weekly check ins. Your experienced advisor will discuss any challenges or wins you’ve experienced along your quit journey, and the best thing is that our services are free!

“We’ve helped hundreds of people successfully stop smoking, who never thought they could do it – it’s brilliant to see how much happier and healthier they become.

Sophie Hall from mental health charity, Mind, said:

People with mental ill health die on average 10 to 20 years earlier than the wider population, and smoking is the biggest cause of this life expectancy gap. Around a third of cigarettes smoked in England are smoked by people with a mental health condition and clients regularly tell us they smoke to cope when feeling unwell.

“People with mental ill health often struggle to stop smoking without support that takes their mental health into account, so it’s vital people can access help from local stop smoking services. We’d encourage anyone even considering stopping smoking to reach out for help.”

To access stop smoking support locally, visit https://livewell.nelincs.gov.uk/ or call 01472 325500.

To explore a range of stop smoking and self-help health apps recommended by professionals, visit the Health App Library here https://hnyhealthapps.co.uk/en-GB/stop-smoking. Free to download and full of useful information, hints and tips.

Find details of your local stop smoking service here: https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/quit-smoking/find-your-local-stop-smoking-service/ who offer free, expert support.

Find your local mind here – https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/ and contact Samaritans here Contact Us | Samaritans.

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