08/02/2011

Smokers 'Quit Kit' In Time For Valentine's

Smokers in the North West are being encouraged to share a ‘fresh breath’ kiss with their Valentine this year, by quitting smoking with the help of a free NHS Quit Kit now available in participating pharmacies.

For the first time, the new improved Quit Kit contains a voucher for a week’s free trial of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) patches which can double smokers’ chances of quitting smoking successfully. Developed by NHS Smokefree together with experts, smokers and ex-smokers, the Quit Kit also contains practical tools and advice to help smokers quit for good.

Smokers planning their perfect Valentine’s evening might want to think twice about the impact of smoking on their appearance. Smoking can prematurely age the skin by between 10 and 20 years and increases the likelihood of facial wrinkles. It causes tooth loss, bad breath, gum-disease and stains tooth enamel. It also has an impact on fertility and sexual performance; for men in their 30s and 40s smoking increases the risk of impotence by around 50 per cent; and women smokers are over three times more likely than non-smokers to have taken more than a year to conceive.

Research also shows that smoking makes people less attractive to the opposite sex. Nearly half of the men surveyed associated smoking with wrinkles, bad skin and less enjoyable kissing. Over two thirds of young men and woman, and over half of smokers, say smoking reduces sexual attractiveness and nearly half of smokers said they would quit to improve their sex appeal.

Smokers quitting before Valentine’s Day with the help of the Quit Kit will quickly notice the benefits. Within just 20 minutes of quitting smoking, blood pressure and pulse rates return to normal, after 48 hours the sense of taste and smell improves, after 72 hours breathing becomes easier, and after a week sleep will improve and so too will the skin. It only takes between two and 12 weeks for circulation to improve, giving the skin a radiant boost. 

Quitting smoking means that not only will you improve your appearance, attractiveness and general health, you will also save money. If you smoke 20 a-day you can save around £171 a month – giving you more money to spend on your Valentine.

Andrea Crossfield, Director of Smokefree North West, said: "In the North West there are still around 23 per cent of people who smoke and we know that around two thirds would like to stop. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your appearance, health and for your loved one this Valentine's. The NHS Quit Kit is full of practical tools and advice that can help you manage your smoking triggers and cravings, and this year you can get a week's free trial of Nicotine Replacement Therapy patches. Using NRT or other stop smoking medicines can double your chances of quitting smoking successfully compared to going it alone. The Quit Kit is part of a range of free, local support available from the NHS."

The Quit Kit is available from participating pharmacies across the country that are working in partnership with the Department of Health.

(BMcN/GK)

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