Stop smoking and go smokefree

Stopping smoking is one of the best things you will ever do for your health, and the health of your family.

If you’re a parent, it’s also one of the most powerful ways to stop your children picking up the habit, and if you’re hoping to conceive and have a baby, quitting is such a precious gift to give your new baby even before they’re born.

Why quit?

It’s never too late to quit, but the sooner you do, the sooner you’ll notice changes to your body and health. NHS.uk has a great summary of the benefits of stopping;

  • After 20 minutes, your heart rate has started returning to normal
  • After 8 hours, your oxygen levels are recovering, and the amount of harmful carbon monoxide in your blood has halved
  • After 2 days, all the harmful carbon monoxide is gone. Your sense of taste and smell is improving.
  • After 3 days, breathing gets easier as the tubes in your lungs relax.
  • After 12 weeks, blood supply to your heart and muscles is recovering
  • After 3-9 months, lung function is improving and coughs will become less of a problem
  • After 1 year, your risk of a heart attack has halved
  • After 10 years, your risk of death from lung cancer has halved.

A man plays football with his son in the garden on a summer day

Passive smoking

Secondhand smoke exposure, or passive smoking, is particularly harmful to children, who have less well-developed bodies. It increases their chance of asthma, chest infections, meningitis, ear infections and coughs and colds.

It’s also dangerous because some of the smoke is unfiltered, meaning it contains even more of the harmful chemicals.

The best protection for them is for you to quit. Even if you can’t quit, or you have family and friends who continue to smoke, creating a smokefree environment in the house and car will help protect you, children and pets.

No-one should smoke in a car where children are present. It is now against the law, and even with the windows open, toxic levels of chemicals can build up inside the vehicle.

Our Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Birmingham Women’s Hospital are both totally smokefree sites. This means you cannot smoke anywhere in our buildings or on our grounds. If you will be visiting or admitted, it’s important that you make a plan. This might be using temporary nicotine replacement therapy whilst you are with us, or that you decide to stop smoking for a longer period in advance of your admission.

Let’s do this!

Nicotine is addictive, and that’s why quitting smoking can be hard.

The good news is that there are various ways you can get motivation and support, and effective treatments for nicotine addiction whilst your body recovers.

A woman plays in the park with her daughter

There are national services available to everyone, and local support through your doctor, pharmacy and stop smoking services.

If you’re pregnant, there is also specialist support available, which you can access via your midwife or general practice.

Local services

National services

  • NHS.uk has everything you need to start today, including free personal quit plans and email support.
  • Speak to a trained adviser on the National Smokefree Helpline is available at 0300 123 1044
  • Download the free NHS quit smoking app on the Apple app store and the Google play store.

Birmingham

  • GPs and pharmacies deliver stop smoking services in Birmingham. Find your local service, including how to get free NRT support, here.

Coventry

  • GPs, pharmacies and specialist clinics across Coventry. This includes general advice as well as a search function for your local service, including access to free NRT support.

Dudley

  • Let’s Get Healthy Dudley offer a range of support, including a local app, via their website and on 01384 732402

Sandwell

  • Healthy Sandwell provide a range of one to one support, group support and online help, which you can access via their website.

Solihull

Walsall

  • One you Walsall can offer a bespoke support programme, which you can access via their website.

Wolverhampton

Worcestershire

A man lifts his young daughter above his head as she covers his eyes

We provide information on these councils as the majority of our patients come from these areas. If you’re from another council, you should search for their information via a search engine or your local council’s website. We aren’t responsible for the content or delivery of these services, and they may have changed since we added them to our list. Last updated: 28 January 2022

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