Give up and give yourself a pay rise

It may just be a coincidence that this year’s No Smoking Day is the same day as the government’s Budget (March 8, 2017).

But according to the charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), the financial benefits of giving up smoking could be the equivalent of an above-inflation pay rise (depending on how much you smoke and how much you earn).

According to ASH, a 10-a-day smoker who decides to quit completely could save themselves around £23.50 a week, which is more than £1,200 a year. If you earn the average UK salary, this is the equivalent of a six percent pay rise, ASH claims.

Find out how much better off you’d be if you quit by using the NHS quitting smoking calculator.

The Budget, on the other hand, is unlikely to be kind to smokers, since in 2014 it was decided that annual duty increases of two percent above the retail price index would continue until the end of the next Parliament to help improve public health.

Get the support you need

ASH also claims only about one in 20 people quit smoking for good if they don’t get any help and support. The best chance for quitting smoking in England, however, is to use a free local Stop Smoking Service.

Developed by experts and ex-smokers, local Stop Smoking Services offer behavioural support and coaching, as well as prescriptions for stop smoking aids such as nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products or stop smoking tablets. According to ASH, this can improve your chance of quitting by up to four times.

If you use a Stop Smoking Service, you usually take part in one-to-one or group sessions led by trained advisers. The sessions usually start a couple of weeks before you quit, and many people say sharing the experience with others can really help.

Your adviser can explain how NRT products and stop smoking tablets work, as well as help you decide which product or combination of products could work for you. And if you need extra motivation, you can have the amount of carbon monoxide (CO) in your body measured using a carbon monoxide monitor. This can be helpful because you’ll be able to see your CO level coming down to the same level as that of a non-smoker just 24 hours after your last cigarette.

Many Careway pharmacies offer the free NHS Stop Smoking Service – find your nearest participating pharmacy by using our Pharmacy Finder. You can also find local Stop Smoking Services via the NHS Smokefree website (besides pharmacies Stop Smoking Services can be found in GPs’ surgeries, health centers, hospitals and even some high-street shops).

Stop Smoking Services are also available in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In the meantime, get lots more information and tips about giving up via our Giving up smoking pages, including how your body benefits, how to cope with withdrawal symptoms and how to resist the urge to give up giving up.