Healthy Heart Tip: National No Smoking Day

Wednesday 9th March marks National No Smoking Day in the UK. Nicotine drives up blood pressure and heart rate, putting immediate and long-term strain on your heart and arteries. The carbon monoxide in cigarettes means less life-giving oxygen for all your tissues, including your heart. This is harmful to your health and can reduce your life expectancy whether you smoke a lot or a little. If you would like to add more healthy years to your life, then why not look through our tips on how to quit smoking today.

Find YOUR Incentive
Most smokers know that smoking is bad for their health, but it can be incredibly difficult to quit.
Hard-hitting warnings are proven to help smokers ditch the habit. Whether it’s a shocking image on a cigarette packet, a hole in your wallet, or a noticeable decline in your fitness, try to stay focused on the reasons why you want to quit to keep yourself motivated.

Seek Support
Getting support to stop smoking can increase your chances of success. You could try contacting your local Stop Smoking Services or chatting to your GP. You could also seek advice from a friend or family member who has successfully stopped smoking.

Tackle the cravings
Cigarette cravings are intense urges to smoke and they can last for 5 minutes. Quitting smoking requires a huge amount of willpower. When you get a craving, try to distract yourself for 5-10 minutes until it passes. You could try planning a healthy dinner or plan a route for a walk. Once the craving has passed, give yourself a pat on the back!

Whatever your reason for wanting to stop smoking, make a plan that works for you and remember that help is available. If you don’t succeed on your first attempt to quit, keep trying! Good luck!

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Or have a look through our Healthy Heart cookbook filled with recipes from top chefs, celebrities and food bloggers: