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Stop smoking after stroke

Giving up smoking is one of the best things you can do to reduce your risk of stroke.

Around 1 in 5 adults in Scotland smoke. Cigarettes contain a substance called nicotine which is what makes them very addictive. Giving up can be really hard, but there is a lot of support to help you quit. It is never too late to stop smoking.

Smoking can damage your heart and your blood circulation, increasing the risk of conditions such as coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke. By stopping smoking, you will reduce these risks, as well as reducing your risk of lung disease and smoking-related cancers.

Why should I stop smoking?

There are many different reasons why it’s worth stopping smoking. You may decide to stop smoking for family reasons, to be a good role model for your children or grandchildren, to be more active, to be healthier or to have more money.

Make a list of the reasons you want to stop smoking. Write them down as this will help focus your mind and boost your willpower.

Who can help me stop smoking?

You are more than four times more likely to succeed at stopping smoking if you have specialist support.

In Scotland, support to stop smoking from your local NHS stop smoking service is free. For more information on what is available in your local area call Smokeline free on 0800 84 84 84 or go to NHS Inform Stop Smoking.

Your GP or pharmacist can offer you help and advice to stop smoking. He or she can recommend a stop smoking treatment that will best suit you.

Help and encouragement from family and friends when you are attempting to stop smoking can really make a difference.

What medicines can help?

There are different types of stop smoking medication such as nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) or medicines such as bupropion (Zyban) or varenicline (Champix). You can discuss which products may be best for you with your doctor, pharmacist or local stop smoking adviser.

e-cigaretteWhat about e-cigarettes?

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are devices that allow you to inhale a vapour that typically contains nicotine (at varying levels), a thick colourless liquid called propylene glycol and/or glycerine and flavourings. Because these products are still relatively new, there is little evidence on the quality and safety of e-cigarettes. More research on the long-term effects of using e-cigarettes is needed. However current expert opinion on the evidence that is available suggests they are likely to be less harmful than smoking tobacco.

For more on the benefits of stopping smoking, the treatments are available to help you quit and some top tips to help you stop smoking, see the CHSS factsheet on Stopping Smoking (PDF).