The list of serious illnesses and diseases caused by smoking is a long one. Just some of the health risks from smoking are:
Giving up smoking can be difficult – but it’s never too late to quit, and there will always be benefits to your health.
The key to success is that you really want to quit.
Once you know you’re ready, you’ve already taken the first step towards breaking the habit!
With these tips to hand, and with the support of your loved ones, you may find giving up is easier than you expected.
By choosing a specific start date, you're making a promise to yourself. And promises are harder to break!
8 hours after giving up smoking, oxygen levels in your blood will have returned to normal, and after 48 hours there will be no nicotine left in your body.
Find a 'quitting buddy'. You'll be able to give each other moral support, especially if you're suffering from nicotine cravings.
A craving can last 5 minutes, so be prepared with strategies that will help you get past the craving. For example take a short stroll, switch to a new activity, or call your quitting buddy.
Giving up 'forever' can feel daunting. Focus on the day - or hour - ahead, and give yourself credit when you achieve each goal.
The encouragement you receive from a support group, as well as your friends and loved ones, will make a big difference.
Some ex-smokers recommend going cold turkey. Others swear by Nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) - nicotine patches, lozenges and inhalators - to curb withdrawal symptoms.
And vaping is growing in popularity, although the health risks of e-cigarettes are fiercely debated.
Your GP will be able to advise you, and may also suggest prescription medication as an alternative to NRT.
Physical activity can reduce your cravings, and regular exercise will help you feel great.
Check out our guide to Getting Active.
Now's the moment to eat plenty of fruit and veg. As well as boosting your health, they also make cigarettes taste terrible!
Our Healthy Eating page is packed with tasty tips.
If you smoked to cope with stress, now's your chance to treat yourself to much healthier and more rewarding ways to manage stress.
Book a weekly massage, or sink into a long hot bath at the end of the working day. Yoga and tai chi are relaxing - and so are boxing workouts!
Once you've smoked your final cigarette, it's time to spring clean your home so that you're free from any lingering traces of your smoking past.
Just think of the money you'll save now you're no longer buying cigarettes. Treat yourself: decide on something special and reward yourself with it. You deserve it!