Be prepared to be smoke free

01 March 2013

It’s No Smoking Day on Wednesday 13 March and many people choose this milestone to break their nicotine addiction.

It’s No Smoking Day on Wednesday 13 March and many people choose this milestone to break their nicotine addiction.

Dr Bobby Mann, Consultant in Respiratory Medicine, sees the effects of smoking every day.

He explains: “Many of my patients need to be treated in hospital because they have permanently damaged their lungs through smoking and have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

“Smoking is one of the main causes of many other serious health conditions, including many cancers (lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in theUK), heart disease, and stroke.

“This isn’t surprising when considering the toxic chemicals contained in cigarettes including carbon monoxide which stops lungs from working efficiently, and tar which can encourage cancer cells to grow.

“Nicotine gets people hooked by increasing the heart rate and boosting ‘feel good’ hormones in the brain. It’s the drop in these hormone levels in between each cigarette that causes the craving.”

A Stop Smoking Service is based at the hospital for patients, staff and visitors, offering support and nicotine replacement therapies or Champix which are proven to work. 

It provides a walk-in clinic every Wednesday between 4.45pm and 5.45pm in the chest clinic in Outpatients Department 2, and can also be contacted on 0208 321 5188 (or contact the Hounslow Stop Smoking Service on 020 8630 3255 for other venues in the Borough).

One of the many people helped by the service is 43-year-old steelfixer Alvaro Martins from Feltham who smoked 60 cigarettes a day for 30 years.

He said: “I’d had enough of feeling ill all the time, coughing every morning and spending so much on cigarettes. After I was hospitalised two years ago with a chest infection I tried nicotine patches and inhalators but they didn’t work for me.

“In January I contactedEva Gateswho provides the Stop Smoking Service and she referred me to my GP for a prescription of Champix tablets. Once I started taking them I was able to smoke less and less over five days because every time I had a cigarette I felt nauseas and dizzy.

“The service has supported me through it and helped me stay in the right frame of mind. I haven’t smoked a cigarette for a month. I can breathe better, my sense of taste and smell has returned and I get less tired when I lift things at work. I feel like I can start living properly!”

Eva said: “We offer a dedicated, friendly and successful service, catering for the individual needs of patients or clients. Patients are supported for six weeks and are recommended medication of their choice for up to three months.  We encourage people to access our service a week before they intend to quit to help them be as prepared as possible. If they relapse we are here to help get them back on track.”