While the amount of smokers in the U.K. has dropped to an all-time low, related diseases still kill thousands of people in the nation each year. 34 years ago, however, smoking was far more common in the United Kingdom, with more than a third of the population lighting up. That’s the year when the country instituted “No Smoking Day,” a national day to increase awareness of smoking related diseases and health problems. While one holiday surely isn’t the only reason why so many Brits have given up their smoking habit, it remains a powerful example of the big difference awareness can make when it comes to preventing tobacco abuse.
How Did No Smoking Day Get Its’ Start?
In the U.K., many individuals celebrate the traditional Christian holiday of Lent– a period in which Christians are encouraged to give up bad habits and live a healthier, more virtuous life. The first day of Lent is called Ash Wednesday, and perhaps because of the “Ash” (no pun intended) or perhaps because this day involves giving something up, this day was designated national No Smoking Day in the United Kingdom.
Each year, a new slogan and advertising campaign is developed to help encourage individuals across the country to quit smoking and embrace a healthier, more conscientious life. Previous slogans have included “Break Free,” “Make a fresh start” and “Proud to be a Quitter.”
British National Health Service Holds Awareness Events, Offers Support to Quitters
Throughout the U.K., the National Health Service (NHS) is going local to highlight No Smoking Day– and the emphasize the many benefits of quitting a cigarette habit as quickly as possible. At local health centers and large corporate offices, the NHS is holding presentations and open house events where interested visitors can get one-on-one advice about how to quit, pick up literature on smoking cessation, and learn about NHS resources, such as medication, medical checkups, and counseling, that are available to help smokers kick the habit.
In particular, NHS representatives recommend that patients who come into the hospital for other medical care use their hospital stay as an incentive to stop smoking as well. Patients in NHS hospitals are given both emotional support and free nicotine replacement products while in the hospital’s care. At outpatient and pre-assessment clinics, the NHS also provides free carbon monoxide tests for smokers planning to quit– and wants to remind smokers that a former smoker’s carbon monoxide levels return to normal after just 2 days without a cigarette. This leads to improved circulation and higher oxygen levels, often resulting in improved patient recovery from surgical operations, infections, and other medical conditions.
At the Restore Center, We Understand the Difficulty of Quitting an Addiction– and We’re Here to Help
While cigarettes may not cause the same short-term dangers of drugs like cocaine or heroin, in the long run, they may be equally deadly. Addiction, whether it be to alcohol, marijuana, opiates, or nicotine, is a serious disease that affects how the human brain functions– and how the sufferer makes decisions on a day-to-day basis.
At Restore Health and Wellness LA, our accredited substance abuse treatment center offers a variety of treatment options for patients in every stage of the addiction recovery process. With detox options, inpatient and outpatient care, sober living arrangements, and more, our individualized treatment plans incorporate both traditional and alternative treatments to help heal our patients’ minds, bodies, and spirits.
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