Stop Smoking Service
This information has been designed to help you cope with stopping smoking. It has been produced by Poole NHS Stop Smoking Service, who are willing and committed to support and advise you during this time. Poole Hospital is Smokefree, read more by clicking here. Find out about Poole Hospital's Smokefree policy.
The benefits to the body of stopping smoking start almost immediately. Within:
- 20 minutes:- Blood pressure and pulse rate return to normal
- 8 hours:- Nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in the blood reduce by half. Oxygen levels return to normal
- 24 hours:- carbon monoxide is eliminated from the body, lungs start to clear out mucus and other smoking debris.
- 48 hours:- Nicotine has left the body. The ability to taste and smell is greatly improved.
- 72 hours:- Breathing becomes easier. Bronchial tubes begin to relax and energy levels increase.
- 2-12 weeks:- Circulation improves throughout the body
- 3-9 months:- coughs, wheezing and breathing problems improve as lung function is increased by between 5-10%.
When you stop smoking, your body will physically and psychologically miss the “habit”. Some physical withdrawal symptoms you may experience are:-
- more coughing
- mouth ulcers
- sore throat
- light headedness/dizziness
- sleep disturbance
- bowel changes
- an overwhelming craving to smoke
- feelings of sadness, tearfulness.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) e.g. patches, gum, lozenges, can be a useful aid for coping with the physical withdrawal symptoms you may experience.
In addition to this, below are some tips, which may help reduce any symptoms, or discomfort you may experience:
- Try to avoid caffeine during the first few days after stopping smoking.
- Try drinking fruit juices, with vitamin C, such as orange juice. If you do not like fruit juice, milk has been found to be helpful.
- Try to eat 3 meals a day, especially breakfast in order to keep blood sugar levels as steady as possible. Use of glucose tablets to boost blood sugar levels when “low” have been found to be useful for some people.
- Try eating fruit and other snacks to help stave off cravings.
- Try sugar free gum or sweets.
- Try to maintain a clean mouth, e.g. brush teeth frequently and use mouthwash at regular intervals
- Whenever possible, go for short walks, to help with circulation recovery and ease boredom.
- Try to keep hands busy, e.g. knitting, fiddling with a coin or pen, squeezing a stress ball.
- Try relaxation techniques e.g., deep-breathing exercises or muscle relaxation can help greatly (when practiced regularly), to reduce the feelings of stress.
- Try to cope without smoking one day at a time or even an hour at a time. Remember, most cravings only last a few minutes.
- Try to distract yourself whenever cravings start e.g., TV, book, jigsaw, telephone, radio, talk to someone
Remember the 5 D’s
- Drink water
- Deep breathing
- Dial a friend
We offer 1:1 guidance or group support to help you quit smoking whilst in hospital or following discharge.
- Ask the staff on your ward to refer you to the service
- Shirley Merrett, Coordinator
- Simon Daubney, Specialist Nurse Stop Smoking Adviser
- Tracy Rowland, Stop Smoking Adviser
on: 0300 3038038
Stop Smoking Service
Public Health Directorate
Bournemouth and Poole PCT
Discovery Court Business Centre
551-553 Wallisdown Road
- Phone the NHS Smoking Helpline for support and advice on:
0800 169 0 169 (Lines are open 7 a.m. – 11 p.m. daily.)
or visit the website www.gosmokefree.co.uk