pic of a girl smoking
Health

Why Quit Smoking?

Pen Orla O’Callaghan Glasses 3 min read

Quitting smoking is the best decision you can make to improve your health and wellbeing. Everyone has their own reason for wanting to quit, here are some of the most common reasons.

  • To improve your health and reduce risk of life threatening diseases.
  • To enjoy a better quality of life, to be fitter and healthier.
  • To be a better role model for your family and friends
  • To have more money in your pocket.
  • To improve your image, have better skin, teeth, hair and nicer smelling clothes.

SMOKING FACTS

  • Smoking is linked to 1 in every 3 cancers in Ireland.
  • 1 in every 2 smokers will die of a tobacco related disease.
  • In Ireland, smoking is the leading cause of avoidable death.
    Nearly 5,500 people die in Ireland each year from the effects of smoking.
  • Every cigarette a person smokes reduces his/her life by five and a half minutes.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF QUITTING

  • Within 20 minutes your circulation will improve, your heart rate and blood pressure will lower. This reduces your risk of heart attack straight away.
  • Within 8 hours the carbon monoxide level in your blood will drop and the oxygen level will go up.
  • Within 24-48 hours all the carbon monoxide will have left your body.
  • Within a few days your sense of smell and taste will start to improve. 
  • After 72 hours your breathing will improve and your energy levels will increase.
  • Within 2 or 3 months your lung capacity can increase by up to 30%. 
  • Within 1 year your chance of heart attack drops by half and within 10 years the risk drops to almost the same as a non-smoker.
  • Within 5 years the risk of smoking related cancers will be greatly reduced.

TAKING ACTION

  • Set a date to stop.
  • Ask for support from friends & family.
  • Prepare your surroundings and throw out any remaining cigarettes.
  • Be prepared to change your routine - during the times you normally had a cigarette, fill these gaps with activities you enjoy.
  • Save the money from not smoking and reward yourself.
  • Watch what you eat as food should not become a substitute for cigarettes.
  • Be prepared for difficult times

All information is sourced  from ‘QUIT’ - a HSE health education website and the Irish Cancer Society website.

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Orla O’Callaghan

Orla O’ Callaghan is the Occupational Health Advisor on the laya healthcare health and wellness team. She qualified as a Registered General Nurse from the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) in 2009 and worked in London for three years. She graduated with MSc in Occupational Health from NUIG in 2012 and completed a traineeship with the European Agency for Safety and Health at work following this. She has a keen interest in workplace health promotion and in particular mental health awareness. She is currently studying counselling and psychotherapy in CIT. Although she lives in Cork her heart belongs to Co. Clare!