Did you know that, as well as harming the lungs, smoking can damage the digestive system? It contributes to disorders such as heartburn and peptic ulcers, and can increase the risk of Crohn’s disease.

But addiction to nicotine makes it hard to quit. Nicotine withdrawal symptoms include cravings, irritability, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, restlessness and disturbed sleep. It’s a real challenge to try and quit smoking, but here are some tips that may help you along the way:

  • Make a date: Set a specific date for stopping … and stop on that date!
  • Buddy up: Ask a friend or colleague to also stop, for mutual support.
  • Chuck it out: Throw away any smoking ‘paraphernalia’ – lighters, ashtrays, etc.
  • Take it slow: Take it one day at a time; don’t think ‘I can never smoke again’, but instead, simply ‘I will not smoke tomorrow.’
  • Take a break: Change your routine so as to eliminate all the ‘cigarette breaks’ that have previously slotted into the day.
  • Save the cash: Save up the money normally spent on cigarettes and put it towards something special. 20 cigarettes a day, means saving around £2,000 per year!
  • Get advice: Make an appointment with the GP – there’s lots of advice and support available free on the NHS.