Smoking Cessation

Six-week stop smoking programme

The Stop Smoking Programme offers assistance with smoking cessation, including behavioural counselling to break the psychological dependence on tobacco products. The clinic is conducted by a nurse trained in smoking cessation counselling. The programme is based on relevant best-practice guidelines. The programme consists of one-to-one sessions that are tailored to meet your needs. These sessions will:

  1. look at your desire and readiness to quit, 
  2. take a history of your smoking habit, 
  3. assess your nicotine addiction, 
  4. identify your reasons for quitting and any difficulties or risks of relapse, 
  5. create a personal plan for your quitting, 
  6. measure your carbon monoxide levels, 
  7. recommend suitable medical treatment


Why quit smoking?

Smoking is the single most preventable cause of chronic illness and premature death.

The health benefits start right away when you quit smoking:

  • Within 20 minutes your circulation will improve, your heart rate and blood pressure will get lower. This reduces your risk of heart attack straight away. 
  • Within 8 hours the carbon monoxide level in your blood will drop and the oxygen level will go up. 
  • Within 24-48 hours all the carbon monoxide will have left your body. 
  • Within a few days your sense of smell and taste will start to improve.  
  • After 72 hours your breathing will improve and your energy levels will increase. 
  • Within 2 or 3 months your lung capacity can increase by up to 30%.  
  • Within 1 year your chance of heart attack drops by half and within 10 years the risk drops to almost the same as a non-smoker. 
  • Within 5 years the risk of smoking related cancers will be greatly reduced. 
  • Once you give up, your lungs start to fight back by coughing up tar. A mug full of tar builds up in the lungs of a 20 a day smoker over the period of a year. It is the toxic chemicals in tar that cause cancer.

These are just some benefits. No matter what age you quit smoking, you will: 

  • look and feel better
  • have fresher breath and cleaner teeth, hair, skin and fingers
  • have more control of your life
  • be fitter and have more energy
  • reduce your risk of illness 
  • reduce the complications of existing illnesses
  • have a better quality of life
  • be a good role model for your children or grandchildren
  • have more money
  • have a healthier family as they will not be exposed to your second-hand smoke


Am I addicted?

Addiction is when you feel that you need something in order to be normal regardless of its harmful effects.  The body also grows to rely on this substance and you need more of it to satisfy the craving for it. This is called tolerance. When you stop using this substance suddenly, you will experience withdrawal symptoms. This is common when giving up smoking.

Are you addicted?  

  1. Have you ever felt a need to cut down or control your smoking, but found it hard to do so? 
  2. Do you ever get annoyed or angry with people who criticise your smoking or tell you that you should give up? 
  3. Have you ever felt guilty about your smoking or about something you did while smoking? 
  4. Do you smoke within half an hour of waking up?

If you answer ‘yes’ to 2 or more of the question above then you are addicted.


Why Stop Smoking before Surgery?

Research has shown that smokers are more likely to suffer complications during and following surgery. By quitting smoking you can improve your safety and reduce the length of time needed for recovery and healing from your operation. This will help you leave hospital sooner and get back to your normal life as quickly as possible.

Smokers undergoing surgery are advised to quit as far in advance of their surgery as possible, preferably a minimum of 6 weeks. However, stopping smoking at any time prior to surgery is likely to be beneficial.

There is evidence to suggest that quitting smoking before having surgery: 

  • Reduces lung, heart and wound – related complications 
  • Decreases wound healing time 
  • Improves bone fusion time after fracture repair
  • Reduces length of stay in hospital

If you do not wish to stop smoking, talk to your consultant, doctor or nurse on the ward about support and the prescription of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) whilst in hospital to help cope with cravings.

For further Information please contact:

Carmel Doherty Clinical Nurse Specialist Smoking Cessation

01- 4103580