No Smoking Day is all about supporting people who want to quit - and celebrating the proud quitters who are already on that journey.

If you’ve been smoking for a while, you might feel like the damage has already been done.

But however long you have been smoking for, it really is always worthwhile giving up.

Colin MacLeod, from Stornoway, was delighted with the support he received from NHS Western Isles’ Smokefree Hebrides and said, “With their help I stopped smoking 24 months ago and have taken on a new lease of life!”

Amanda MacLeod, from Benbecula, another successful Smokefree Hebrides quitter said, “I stopped smoking just as I moved into my new house and I have been able spend my money on my children and  my new grandson. So my whole family have become winners since I stopped smoking.”

Here are just a few reasons how your body will benefit from stopping smoking.


20 minutes - Your heart rate and blood pressure return to normal

8 – 24 hours - Nicotine and carbon monoxide start to leave the body and oxygen levels return to normal

48 – 72 hours - Nicotine has been eliminated from your body and your sense of smell and taste both improve

3 – 9 months - Any coughs, wheezing and breathing problems are reduced as your lungs repair.

1 year - Your risk of coronary heart disease is now half that of a smoke

10 – 15 years - Your risk of lung cancer is halved, compared to that of a smoker

So now that we know the benefits, what are the keys to successfully quitting?

The main way is to choose a quit method that is right for you and planning in advance how you are going to deal with any temptations or ‘triggers’ to smoke.

Getting the right support makes a real difference. Smokers are four times more likely to stop for good with the help from specialist services.

These services offer free counselling and support to anyone who would like to quit smoking. You can contact your local service and arrange an appointment with a trained advisor, who will take you through the steps of your quit journey.

The service is available on a one-to-one basis both through the use of telephone or face-to-face and we can offer a range of other support including; e-mailing and texting.

Here in the Western Isles, ‘Smokefree Hebrides’ offers support to all age groups and operates an open door policy to anyone who would like further information on quitting smoking.

Why not put the 8th March in your diary and give them a call on 01851 701623 - their friendly advisors will be delighted to offer you further information, advice and support on how you can make your 2017 ‘Smokefree’.