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Unfortunately there is no ‘quick fix’ to quitting smoking. If you want to give up smoking for good you need to take a closer look at your smoking habits and understand why you smoke and what the effects of smoking on your life and your future are. You may find that your level of motivation changes from day-to-day depending on your mood and the situations you find yourself in.  Changing your attitude to smoking, making the decision to give up and changing your lifestyle are important to your success. There are things you can do to help yourself stay focused on your goal to quit smoking for good.

Plan to quit by starting your quit plan today. It will help you to:

  • take a closer look at your smoking and identify what makes you smoke,
  • help find realistic ways to deal with your triggers,
  • learn new ways to deal with the difficult (high risk) situations,
  • make a plan of action to help you stop smoking for good
  • figure out ways of living your life without tobacco.

You can also contact the Health Centre, call the National Smokers’ Quitline on callsave 1850 201 203 to speak to an advisor or you can find contact details for your nearest HSE smoking cessation service or

The health benefits start right away when you quit smoking:

  • Within 20 minutes your circulation will improve, your heart rate and blood pressure will get lower. This reduces your risk of heart attack straight away.

  • Within 8 hours the carbon monoxide level in your blood will drop and the oxygen level will go up.

  • Within 24-48 hours all the carbon monoxide will have left your body.

  • Within a few days your sense of smell and taste will start to improve.  

  • After 72 hours your breathing will improve and your energy levels will increase.

  • Within 2 or 3 months your lung capacity can increase by up to 30%.  

  • Within 1 year your chance of heart attack drops by half and within 10 years the risk drops to almost the same as a non-smoker.

  • Within 5 years the risk of smoking related cancers will be greatly reduced.

  • Once you give up, your lungs start to fight back by coughing up tar. A mug full of tar builds up in the lungs of a 20 a day smoker over the period of a year. It is the toxic chemicals in tar that cause cancer.

 These are just some benefits. No matter what age you quit smoking, you will:

  • look and feel better

  • have fresher breath and cleaner teeth, hair, skin and fingers

  • have more control of your life

  • be fitter and have more energy

  • reduce your risk of illness

  • reduce the complications of existing illnesses

  • have a better quality of life

  • be a good role model for your children or grandchildren

  • have more money

  • have a healthier family as they will not be exposed to your second-hand smoke

What's in a cigarette

There are around 4000 chemicals in cigarette smoke! This is one of the many reasons to quit smoking.

Why should I quit smoking?

Everyone has their own reason for wanting to quit smoking, here are some of the most common ones. 

  • To improve your health and reduce risk of life threatening diseases.
  • To enjoy a better quality of life, to be fitter and healthier.
  • To be a better role model for your family and friends
  • To have more money in your pocket. Find out how much by using the cost calculator in the quit plan
  • To regain control over your life – smoking won’t dictate your daily routine.
  • To improve your image, have better skin, teeth, hair and nicer smelling clothes.
  • To reduce the work you have to do to keep your home and car clean.
  • To improve the quality of the air in your home for your family and friends.
  • To improve your self-esteem and to be better able to deal with the daily stresses of life.


  • 1 in every 2 smokers will die of a tobacco related disease.
  • Most smokers (83%) regret that they ever started smoking and would not smoke if they had the choice again.
  • Smoking takes 10 to 15 years quality years off your life.
  • Every 6.5 seconds someone in the world dies from tobacco use = 1.5 million people dying needlessly each year.
  • Every cigarette a person smokes reduces his/her life by five and a half minutes.
  • In Ireland, smoking is the leading cause of avoidable death. Nearly 5,500 people die in Ireland each year from the effects of smoking and thousands of others are ill because of smoking-related diseases.