Quitting smoking is a tough ask for many smokers. 

But what about just taking it one day at a time? Decide to quit smoking for just one day on World Anti- Tobacco Day. See it as a kind of tobacco fast. 

How you will feel better.
According to the WHO (World Health Organisation), within 20 minutes of not smoking your heart rate and blood pressure drops. Within 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. If you are enjoying the feeling ‘normal’, things only get better if you can stretch that one day tobacco fast.

– In 2-12 months your circulation will improve – Within 9 months, coughing and shortness of breath decreases – A year down the track, your risk of coronary heart disease is almost half of that of a smoker – After 5 years, your risk of a stroke drops to that of a non-smoker – After 10 years, your risk of lung cancer drops to about 50% of that of a smoker, and the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, bladder, cervix and pancreas also decreases. – 15 years of non-smoking reduces the risk of coronary disease to the same as a non-smoker.

You will also reduce the risk of your smoke harming family and friends. According to The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), almost 50% of children regularly breathe air polluted by tobacco in public places.

10 tips to stop.
If you have indeed quitted smoking for the day, enjoy the feeling and decide to make a go of quitting, here are some tips from CANSA to help you.

– Decide on a date to quit. – Throw away reminders of smoking: cigarette packets, ashtrays, lighters. – Exercise, walk or jog. – Drink lots of water to flush the nicotine from your body. – Avoid smokers and things that make you want to smoke for a few days. – Let your family know and ask them to support you. – If you experience some dizziness, headaches or coughing, this is normal and should improve in a few days and disappear in 14 days. – The first few days are going to be tough and then your cravings should reduce. – If you are worried about losing weight, eat healthy and exercise. – Avoid using stressful or special times to have “just one” cigarette. The chances are you will soon be smoking again!

Help is at hand.
Remember that your GP and Link pharmacist can also assist you to quit smoking and, given the long term health benefits of a life of smobriety, it is well worth a visit to a caring and understanding professional.



While all reasonable effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this article, information may change or become dated, as new developments occur. The Link group shall not be held liable or accountable for the accuracy, completeness or correctness of any information for any purpose.