Stars back 'quit smoking' drive

Some of Leicestershire's biggest sporting names are backing a new campaign to help people in the region stop smoking.

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'Balls To Stop' campaign gets going

When making the decision to stop, people often don’t know what to expect and how long the process can take. It can take 3 months to become a non-smoker. Physical cravings often last less than a week, whilst it’s the psychological craving which goes on for longer.

'Balls To Stop' aims to help you stub it out! Credit: PA/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Here are a few ideas to help you approach the challenge of quitting:

Planning to stop...

  • Choose a day to quit. Ask your family and friends for support

  • Plan a reward for the end of the first day / first week / first month

  • Bin all your cigarettes, ashtrays and lighters

  • Consult your GP about nicotine replacement therapy (net), proven to double your success rate

How to stop...

  • Get through the first day

  • Chew sugar-free gum as a replacement

  • For strong cravings take deep breaths and delay giving in to the urge, which will pass after a couple of minutes

  • Play with a pencil or coin if you need to hold something; Anything but a cigarette

How to stay smoke-free...

  • Take it one day at a time

  • Avoid situations associated with smoking to begin with

  • Don’t be tempted to smoke one cigarette. This often leads to two, three and many more

  • Save cigarette money as an incentive. On average smokers spend over £100 per month

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'Balls To Stop' - Reasons to quit smoking

The 'Balls To Stop' campaign recognises the negative impact that smoking has on the local community and it aims to stop it. But in order to quit smoking, you have to want to quit smoking first.

Here are a few facts which might make you think twice before lighting up again:

  • Quit before 35 and life-expectancy is only slightly less than a non-smoker
  • Quit before 50 and the smoking-related death-risk is reduced by 50%
  • A twenty-a-day smoker saves over £1000 a year
  • Improved general health and well-being
  • Reduction in chest-infections/colds
  • Food and drink tastes better

When attempting to stop smoking, people often don't know what to expect. If you're thinking of quitting, this simple timeline shows how you stand to benefit over time, from the moment you decide to give up:

  • After 72 hours - Breathing becomes easier, as Bronchial tubes begin to relax and energy levels increase
  • 1 month - Skin appearance improves, owing to improved skin perfusion
  • 3 to 8 months - Cough, wheezing and breathing problems improve and lung function increases by up to 10%
  • 1 year - Risk of a heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker
  • 10 years - Risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker
  • 15 years - Risk of heart attack falls to the same level that it would be for someone who has never smoked

'Balls To Start' campaign - The dangers of smoking

Some of the region's most influential sportsmen are backing a new campaign to quit smoking.

The biggest cause of illness and premature death in UK, smoking causes over 100,000 deaths each year. Just 50% of long-term smokers go on to live beyond the age of 70.

  • Lung cancer - 80% of deaths are smoking-related
  • Other cancers - Of the mouth, throat, pancreas and kidney as well as Leukaemia are common in smokers
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) - A serious lung-disease, with another 80% of deaths directly linked to smoking
  • Heart-disease - 1 out of 6 deaths are due to smoking
  • Circulation problems - Tobacco damages the lining of blood vessels, causing strokes and aneurysms
  • Arthritis - Smoking is responsible for 20% of cases
  • Dementia
  • Psoraesis
  • Osteoperosis
  • Gum disease

Smoking also contributes to other harmful and debilitating health-issues, including:

  • Sexual problems - Smoking cause impotency and reduces fertility in both men and women
  • Ageing - Nicotine damages the skin, making people appear older than they are
  • Menopause - On average, women who smoke are likely to experience menopause two years earlier than non-smokers