How to Quit smoking or vaping

Are you a smoker or vaper and you’re thinking about quitting? Or do you know a smoker or vaper who would like to quit?  

When someone quits smoking or vaping, it will not only benefit their own health, but it will benefit people around them. Benefits could include people not having to breathe in dangerous, second-hand smoke and reduce concerns around what would happen should the smoker or vaper become ill. 

The Fresh Air – You’re Welcome team has put together some facts, tips and advice to help you go through your quitting journey or help someone to quit.

Impacts of quitting on your health

Quitting impacts your body as soon as you start. We’ve put together important milestones. 

Here are nine facts about how quitting could improve your health: 

  1. After 20 minutes - Your resting heart rate would improve.  
  2. After 12 hours - The oxygen levels in your blood would start to improve, while the carbon monoxide levels in your body would decrease. 
  3. After five days - Nicotine would almost have left your body.
  4. After one week - You would start feeling your sense of taste and smell become more accurate.
  5. After two to 12 weeks - Your body has already recovered enough to lower your risks of heart attack. Your blood circulation would have improved. Your lungs would become more effective, allowing you to find exercise easier.
  6. After one to nine months - You would find yourself being less out-of-breath or coughing.
  7. After one year - Your risk of a heart attack would decrease by 50 per cent, compared to when you smoked.
  8. After five years - Your risk of having a stroke or developing mouth, throat or oesophagus cancer would decrease.
  9. After 10 years - Your risk of developing lung cancer would decrease by 50 per cent, compared to when you smoked. Your risk of bladder, kidney, and pancreatic cancer would also decrease. 

Source: Quitting smoking - health benefits, quit plans, resources | healthdirect 

Five tips to successfully quit (or help someone to quit)

Quitting is a journey. Make sure you are well prepared to start it yourself – or support somebody who is about to quit. 

Here are five tips to successfully quit (or help someone to quit):

  1. Find a support system
    It is important that you find supports to encourage and support you and keep you accountable. It can be your friends, family, Quitline via 13 87 48, your GP or local pharmacies, online supports or even an app. Do not hesitate to share your journey with people around you.
  2. Identify triggers
    List the situations or locations that can trigger your desire to smoke and try to avoid them, especially at the beginning of your process. Think about taking advantage of our Smoke-Free Town Centres.
  3. Have coping mechanisms ready
    When the craving is too high, have a list of alternatives to reduce the craving. Alternatives include mints, gum, a stress ball, healthy snacks, etc. 
  4. Be kind to yourself - or your friend
    This is a journey. If you slip up, be positive and understanding even through relapses. Quitting can take multiple attempts.
  5. Celebrate small wins
    Every day without smoking or vaping is a win. Celebrate each win, such as one day without smoking or attending a social event without vaping. 

Sources:
Quitting smoking - health benefits, quit plans, resources | healthdirect 
Quit Toolkit | Make Smoking History

More information and support

The City of Vincent's Fresh Air - You're Welcome project aims to reduce community exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, create healthy environments, free from smoking and vaping in our entertainment precincts, and promote options available to a person looking to quit smoking or vaping.

You can find all the best tips to quit at Make Smoking History.

For more information or support, visit vincent.wa.gov.au/smokefree.