With the increase in the cost of living, many families across the region are struggling financially and Fresh are urging smokers to work out how much they could save by quitting smoking.
A 10 a day smoker spending £9 per pack of cigarettes is spending around £1,642 a year, £135 a month, around £31 a week and an incredible £8,212 in five years on cigarettes – money going up in smoke (see https://www.nhsinform.scot/stopping-smoking/calculate-my-savings).
Quitting smoking will not only give you a financial boost but it will also improve your health and reduce stress and anxiety within weeks.
If you smoke ten cigarettes a day and quit, you could save:
- 1 week’s savings of £31 could help pay towards your monthly water bill (Money Helper estimates)
- 2 weeks’ savings of around £62 could pay for the cost of fuel or public transport.
- 3 weeks’ savings of approximately £93 could buy a family food shop.
- 4 weeks’ savings of £124 could buy you a 4 months’ superfast broadband package including TV.
- £1,642 saved in a year could more than pay for many families’ annual power bill (EDF Energy estimates)
This spring, smokers in the North East and North Cumbria are also being offered the chance to sign up for free online 24/7 support with the Smoke Free app which is a handy option for people with busy schedules or limited time to find support at a time that suits them. All people need to do is to download it from getmesmokefree.com
Quitting can bring benefits to almost anyone at any age as the body begins to recover. Within 20 minutes of not smoking the pulse rate returns to normal, within two days toxic carbon monoxide gets flushed out of the body and breathing can improve after just 72 hours. It will also reduce your risk of serious diseases like cancer, heart disease, COPD and stroke.
Ailsa Rutter OBE, Director of Fresh and Balance, said: “Smoking is a massive drain on the finances of many families across the North East. Day by day, and week by week, it is frightening to think how these costs mount up.
“Quitting smoking can feel like an instant pay rise and create a bit of financial peace of mind, but also means you can enjoy a few luxuries for you and the family.
“We know most smokers want to stop but it can be tough. A big motivation to give it another go is around the costs and what you can save by quitting – whether that is towards the weekly shops, or taking the kids out on day trips, new clothes, presents for the kids or even paying towards life’s necessities like power and food, quitting smoking means you will save that money and ease some of your worries.”
She added: “Many people are struggling financially but we have to remember smoking is an addiction that usually starts in childhood and most people who smoke would like to be able to quit. Meanwhile tobacco companies are profiting from addiction. It is time big tobacco is made to pay a levy towards prevention and supporting people to quit.”
Top 10 tips for quitting smoking this spring
- Everyone is different – some successful quit attempts are planned, but loads of people manage to quit without planning.
- Work out when you’re most likely to smoke and change your routine to avoid those situations for a while.
- Make a list of reasons in your head – e.g. health, family, money.
- Think about quitting smoking as a pay rise.
- Get the best support – there’s loads of help, advice and support available from your local Stop Smoking Service.
- Ask your family and friends to support you – and not to try to tempt you to smoke.
- Consider an electronic cigarette to help stay free of tobacco. E-cigs are the most popular quitting aid in the UK and are estimated to be around 95% less harmful than tobacco cigarettes.
- Try some of the free tools to keep you going from the national Smokefree website – choose from the quitting app http://www.nhs.uk/smokefree
- It is usually better to stop abruptly than cut down to quit.
- Don’t feel disheartened if you fail – come back more determined.
The Smoke Free app gives people 24/7 support when they need it the most and can be downloaded with an eligible postcode within the North East and North Cumbria at getmesmokefree.com. This is on top of the free excellent support available from the local Stop Smoking Services in the region.
To get started and find your local stop smoking service visit https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/quit-smoking/