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If you’ve been told that you’re at risk of heart and circulatory diseases, or lung conditions, stopping smoking now is the single most important step you can take to protect your heart and lungs.

If you are in the at risk, or shielded COVID-19 groups then it is very important that you stop smoking, as your risk of dying from contracting the disease is far higher than other people and is likely to be fatal to you.

People who breathe in second-hand smoke are at risk of the same diseases as smokers. Second-hand smoke is particularly dangerous to babies and children as their lungs are still developing and are much more vulnerable to breathing in toxic materials.

“Smoking remains the leading cause of premature death, killing nearly 80,000 people a year in England. For every person who dies from smoking, at least 30 people live with a serious smoking-related illness such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This is significant health information, which smokers have a right to know, and it is our duty to support them in taken steps to quit or abstain from smoking.”

- Hazel Cheeseman, Director of Policy, ASH

Why now is the time to stop smoking

Improve the quality of your life. If you already have a condition, stopping smoking is the best step you can take for your health and quality of life. It will help you cope with your symptoms and stop your condition getting worse.

Improve the health of the next generation. Stopping is a key way to protect your children’s and grandchildren’s health in the long term. Children are much more likely to take up smoking if their parents or grandparents smoke.

“If you can stop smoking, you’ll live longer and feel better. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how long you have smoked for. Stopping can be difficult. But it’s the most important thing you can do to look after your health. You’ll also protect the people around you from breathing in your smoke.”

- Scott Crosby, Smokefree Lead, Yorkshire & Humber

Support from family, friends, and health professionals can make a big difference for people who are quitting smoking. Read about the experiences of others who have become smokefree and how they did it.

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