Today is the day…for a fresh start

Say no to smoking, say yes to life

13th March is National No Smoking Day, where everyone - whether you’re a smoker or not - comes together to inspire, motivate and support others to take the first step towards quitting smoking.

Join thousands of people across the country and begin your smoke-free journey with the help of a free and friendly stop-smoking service. There's a great personal quit plan and an app to help you along.

Smoking is the biggest cause of preventable deaths in England, accounting for nearly 80,000 deaths each year. One in two smokers will die from a smoking-related disease.

What does smoking do to your health?

  • Reproduction and fertility: smoking can cause male impotence, as it damages the blood vessels that supply blood to the penis. It can also damage sperm, reduce sperm count and cause testicular cancer. For women, smoking can reduce fertility. Smoking also increases your risk of cervical cancer. People who smoke are less able to get rid of the HPV infection from the body, which can develop into cancer. Smoking while you are pregnant can lead to miscarriage, premature birth, stillbirth and illness, and it increases the risk of cot death by at least 25%. The good news is that once you stop smoking, your health improves and your body will begin to recover
  • Skin: smoking reduces the amount of oxygen that gets to your skin. This means that if you smoke, your skin ages more quickly and looks grey and dull.  Smoking prematurely ages your skin by between 10 and 20 years, and makes it three times more likely you'll get facial wrinkling, particularly around the eyes and mouth. The good news is that once you stop smoking, you will prevent further deterioration to your skin caused by smoking
  • Circulation: when you smoke, the poisons from the tar in your cigarettes enter your blood. These poisons in your blood then make your blood thicker and increase the chances of clot formation, increase your blood pressure and heart rate, making your heart work harder than normal and narrow your arteries, reducing the amount of oxygen rich blood circulating to your organs. Together, these can increase the chance of your arteries narrowing and clots forming, which can cause a heart attack or stroke.
  • Heart: smoking damages your heart and your blood circulation, increasing the risk of conditions such as coronary heart disease, heart attack, stroke, peripheral vascular disease (damaged blood vessels) and cerebrovascular disease (damaged arteries that supply blood to your brain). In fact, smoking doubles your risk of having a heart attack, and if you smoke you have twice the risk of dying from coronary heart disease than lifetime non-smokers. The good news is that after only one year of not smoking, your risk is reduced by half
  • Stomach: smokers have an increased chance of getting stomach cancer or ulcers. Smoking is also a significant risk factor for developing kidney cancer, and the more you smoke the greater the risk
  • Bones: smoking can cause your bones to become weak and brittle. Women need to be especially careful as they are more likely to suffer from brittle bones (osteoporosis) than non-smokers
  • Brain: if you smoke, you are at least 50% more likely to have a stroke than someone who doesn't smoke. The good news is that within two years of stopping smoking, your risk of stroke is reduced to half that of a smoker and within five years it will be the same as a non-smoker
  • Lungs: Your lungs can be very badly affected by smoking with coughs, colds, wheezing and asthma just the start. Smoking can cause fatal diseases such as pneumonia, emphysema and lung cancer. Smoking causes 84% of deaths from lung cancer and 83% of deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). You can slow down the progression of the disease and stopping smoking is the most effective way to do this
  • Mouth and throat: smoking causes unattractive problems such as bad breath and stained teeth, and can also cause gum disease and damage your sense of taste. The most serious damage smoking causes in your mouth and throat is an increased risk of cancer in your lips, tongue, throat, voice box and gullet (oesophagus). The good news is that when you stop using tobacco, even after many years of use, you can greatly reduce your risk of developing head and neck cancer.

Watch the smoke free video