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Give up smoking on World No Tobacco Day

Posted on the 24th May 2018

With ‘World No Tobacco Day’ on 31 May, people who use tobacco across Lancashire are being urged to understand the link between its use and cardiovascular disease.

According to the World Health Organisation, cardiovascular disease kills more people than any other cause of death worldwide, and tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure contribute to approximately 12 percent of all heart disease deaths.

Cardiovascular disease is a general term for conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels. It is one of the main causes of death and disability in the UK, and is caused by a range of factors that include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and inactivity.

Tobacco use is the second leading cause of cardiovascular disease, after high blood pressure. The global tobacco epidemic kills more than 7 million people each year, of which close to 900 000 are non-smokers dying from breathing second-hand smoke.

Gareth Beck from the Quit Squad said:

“Tobacco use is a threat to people regardless of background and socio economic status. Every year, over 7 million people die from it, a figure that is expected to grow to over 8 million by 2030. World No Tobacco Day is a good way to raise awareness of the health risks associated with smoking and chewing tobacco. ‘’

Cardiovascular disease is a general term for conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels.it is one of the main causes of death and disability in the UK, and is caused by a range of factors that include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and inactivity.

To quit tobacco use contact the Quit Squad, a service delivered by Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and funded by Lancashire County Council.

You can access the service in your local community by visiting a drop-in clinic (for which no appointments are required) or by attending a one-to-one session. The Quit Squad also offers sessions in the community and workplace. For further details, telephone 0800 3286297, visit www.quitsquad.nhs.uk, or follow the Quit Squad on Twitter @LancashireCare #QuitSquad.

Case Study

Graham is from Fleetwood. Aged 56, he had been smoking since he was around 14 or 15.

“I started smoking when I was around 14 or 15 years old. I was a teenager at the time and had been smoking for over 40 years. Smoking was part of being in the crowd at the time. It was the lads that got me into it. Just before I gave up, I had gone on to rollups and was smoking some 20 to 25 rollups a day. They’re only small and not as big as normal cigarettes. I also used to have more when I would be stressed.

“My journey to a smoke free life began when I had a bad chest infection and went to the doctor. I was eventually diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). I didn’t know I had it at the time and had been struggling to breathe when I climbed the stairs. My breathing was also irregular. I went to the doctor who said I had a chest infection. He put me on a course of antibiotics and steroids to clear it. Then, when I went back to him after a few weeks, he said it had cleared up but I had COPD and that was some 7 weeks ago. He told me I needed to quit smoking and so that very same day I booked an appointment with the Quit Squad. I had a session with them, took some tests, answered a few questions about my smoking habits and that was it. I came home, gave my fags and lighter to the wife and stopped.

“I’m on patches at the moment and feel totally great. When I was smoking, I would be in bed and would have a terrible cough. I used to have difficulties sleeping at night and would be wheezing. Now I’m fine. I’m no longer coughing or anything like that. I can now smell people smoking, though I haven’t got anything against it and I’m not bothered being around people who smoke. However, I can now smell it which I couldn’t before.

“My overall health is sound now since I stopped smoking. I’m not out of breath like I used to be. I can go out and walk out with the kids. Having stopped, everyone is pleased with me. My wife praises me and so do my sons.

“I’d recommend to smokers at the first opportunity to give up and go to the Quit Squad. You don’t want to wait until you’ve been diagnosed with what I got. If I hadn’t been diagnosed, then I wouldn’t have stopped. You don’t want to wait till then. My wife said that my father in law had COPD and that he never gave up smoking. Then he had a number of health complications.”