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If you smoke, the absolute best thing you can do for your health is give up today

It isn’t easy but it isn’t impossible and the benefits from stopping start from day 1.

Every cigarette you smoke is harming you. Most people associate tobacco smoking with breathing problems and lung cancer, but smoking is also a major cause of heart disease for men and women. If you smoke you are 2 to 4 times more likely to suffer a heart attack.

Keith talks about looking after yourself
Did you know?

One in two smokers will die as a result of smoking tobacco, most at middle age.

If you want to be around and watch your children grow into build children and into adults then you must stop smoking.Graham Lowe
Graham Lowe
If I could go back and change one thing it would be to stop smoking.Keith

The benefits of stopping smoking

As soon as you stop smoking smoking, your body will begin to repair itself and your health will begin to improve. Stopping smoking at any age will reduce your risk of death and improve your quality of life.

After 20 minutes of stopping smoking:
Your blood pressure and heart rate decreases; your body temperature increases.
After 8 hours of stopping smoking:
Carbon monoxide (poisonous gas) levels in your blood drop to normal and oxygen levels in your blood increase to normal.
After 24 hours of stopping smoking:
Your chances of a heart attack begin to decrease; your lungs start to clean themselves.
After 48 hours of stopping smoking:
Nerve ending start to grow again, taste and smell improves.
Two weeks to three months after stopping smoking:
Blood circulation improves; lung function improves; walking becomes easier; voice becomes clearer; coughing to clear out your lungs, shortness of breath, fatigue and nasal congestion decreases.
After one year of giving up smoking:
Your risk of heart disease is decreased to half that of a non-smoker.
After 5 years of stopping smoking:
Your risk of stroke is the same as those who have never smoked.
After 10 years of stopping smoking:
Your risk of lung cancer decreases to half that of a smoker; your risk of mouth, throat, oesophagus, pancreas, kidney and bladder cancer are also reduced; your risk of ulcers decrease.
After 15 years of stopping smoking:
The risk of heart disease and death is close to that of people who have never smoked. Adapted from the American Lung Association.

40% of heart disease in people under the age of 65 is caused by smoking

Stopping smoking is the best thing you can do to benefit your health and add quality to your life. More and more people are choosing to stop smoking for both themselves and their families and smoking rates in New Zealand continue to decrease. Join this movement, stop smoking and begin to life a long, full and healthy life.


Nicotine is one of the main ingredients in tobacco. It is what gets people hooked on cigarettes, creates the craving to smoke and makes it hard to quit. Nicotine in cigarettes is not harmful, it is the other chemicals from tobacco smoke that are extremely damaging to the body.

Anyone who’s tried to stop smoking knows it can be extremely difficult. There will be times when the cravings seem too much and others when the temptation to have ‘just one’ cigarette can seem overwhelming. Stopping smoking is hard work but you don’t have to do it alone. Talk to your doctor, family and friends. Getting support can make the difference between failing and succeeding with your goal to stop smoking, says Quitline.


There are a number of nicotine and non-nicotine stop-smoking treatments available to help you stop smoking. If you are thinking about stopping, are working towards becoming a non-smoker, or you have relapsed, you will find links and contacts to support information on this webpage.

Graham Lowe talks about the risk of smoking
What is the Single Best Thing You Can Do to Quit Smoking?

Where can I find out more?


Your family and loved ones

You will be doing your family and loved ones a favour when you stop. You aren’t just harming yourself by smoking, you are also harming the ones around you. Second-hand smoke kills approximately 350 New Zealanders every year, as they inhale the same chemicals from the cigarette smoke that you do.

Children exposed to tobacco smoke have a higher risk of developing asthma and other illnesses such as colds, coughs and chest infections. Even if you don’t smoke around them the poisonous chemicals are on your body and in your clothes. Children of smokers are seven times more likely to become smokers themselves, according to Quitline. So think of your family and loved ones, giving up smoking will not only benefit you but those important to you.

Smoking and money

Smoking not only affects your health it also costs money. Tobacco is expensive and will become more expensive over the next decade. Stopping smoking can save you money.

If you need additional reasons to stop, think about how much of your weekly earnings going up in smoke. Based on a pack of 20 cigarettes costing more than $20 per day, if you smoke a pack a day it is costing you about $141 a week.

This amounts to about $7,350 a year… that’s a pretty nice holiday.

Talk to my health professional about stopping smoking

Continue the journey

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