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Stopping smoking is often referred to as ‘giving up’, but this new year, Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board are focused on the gains. By swapping cigarettes to safer forms of nicotine, such as patches, gum or a vape you can save hundreds of pounds, improve recovery outcomes and mental and physical health significantly when you remove the harmful tobacco from your life.

Dave Jones, Tobacco Programme Manager for the Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board said:

“The thought of stopping smoking can seem overwhelming and very final. For many smokers, their days are organised around smoking habits.

If you are coming to hospital for any reason this year, you will see that all sites are smokefree to support the best health of everyone who works, visits or stays here.

All patients admitted to hospital are offered support and medication to help them manage cravings from the ‘Swap and Stop’ tobacco dependency treatment team. The team have had amazing success rates since they started helping people in August 2022, with over a third of patients still being completely smokefree a month after leaving hospital: improving their recovery times and reducing their chances of coming back!

Being supported by experts who can advise you on the best medication and methods and who most importantly understand what you’re experiencing

Once people have got used to not smoking tobacco and are ready to move onto the next stage, nicotine replacement products can be gradually reduced until no longer needed at all. Studies show[1] that once a person is nicotine free, mental health can dramatically improve, with reduced anxiety, depression, and stress.

Scott Crosby, Associate Director for the Centre for Excellence in Tobacco Control for Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board said:

“There is a misconception that smoking relieves anxiety, when in fact, it creates it. The relief that people feel when they have a cigarette is because they are giving their body the drug (nicotine) that it has been withdrawing from.

“If you are feeling worried about the thought of stopping smoking, getting support from a specialist stop smoking service can really help. This means someone is with you every step of the way, from making a plan, through to providing a prescription for nicotine replacement items and weekly check ins with an expert advisor.

The advisor will discuss any challenges or wins you’ve experienced along your quit journey, and the best thing is that their services are free”

David and Sarah from Hull successfully stopped smoking using their local stop smoking service, Smokefree Hull

The main reasons we quit smoking was because of our children smelling smoke from us, and secondly the cost of living. We found we were choosing between eating, heating and smoking.

“It’s great now we don’t smoke, we’ve got more time with the children because we’re not always popping out for a cigarette, more money to spend on them, and we can taste our food better, so we’re enjoying cooking more”

Sophie Hall from Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale Mind said:

“People with mental ill health die on average 10 to 20 years earlier than the wider population, and smoking is the biggest cause of this life expectancy gap. Around a third of cigarettes smoked in England are smoked by people with a mental health condition and clients regularly tell us they smoke to cope when feeling unwell.

“People with mental ill health often struggle to stop smoking without support that takes their mental health into account, so it’s vital people can access help from local stop smoking services. We’d encourage anyone even considering stopping smoking to reach out for help.”

To explore a range of stop smoking and self-help health apps recommended by professionals, visit the Health App Library here Free to download and full of useful information, hints and tips.

Find details of your local stop smoking service here: who offer free, expert support.

Find your local mind here – and contact Samaritans here Contact Us | Samaritans


[1] New study shows quitting smoking can improve mental health | University of Oxford


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