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Saturday, 18 November 2017
Ready for a breath of fresh air
26 February 2017

Our hospital is making final preparations before going tobacco-free on national No Smoking Day so that patients, staff and visitors can enjoy a breath of fresh air.

The Heath Road site will go tobacco-free on Wednesday, 8 March, in response to guidance from Public Health England. To prepare for the change, smoking shelters are being dismantled and replaced with designated vaping areas, new signage is being installed and work is taking place to publicise the range of help available through the NHS for those who want to quit.

Doctors and nurses are also reminding people of the benefits they will notice to their health within just minutes of quitting, which include:

  • blood pressure and pulse return to normal after 20 minutes
  • blood oxygen levels return to normal and the chance of having a heart attack falls within eight hours
  • carbon monoxide leaves the body and lungs begin to clear out mucus and debris within a day
  • the body is nicotine free and the sense of smell and taste start to improve within two days
  • circulation improves and it gets easier to walk and exercise within two to 12 weeks
  • lungs become more efficient and breathing problems begin to disappear within three to nine months
  • the risk of heart disease drops by 50% within a year
  • the risk of heart attack is half that of a smoker within five years
  • the risk of lung cancer falls to half that of a smoker within 10 years

In addition, most people who quit save an average £250 a month, which could buy a new kitchen appliance or games console. After a year, an ex-smoker could save enough for a luxury Caribbean holiday, good quality second hand car or a new bathroom or kitchen.

Dr Jonathan Douse, respiratory consultant at Ipswich Hospital said: “We still see a tremendous amount of people coming to the hospital with smoking-related diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), asthma, pneumonia and lung cancer. The most effective and important health intervention for any of these conditions is to stop smoking. The impact on health is much greater than any medication I could prescribe.

“We always offer patients who smoke advice about stopping before they are admitted to hospital, especially if they are having a surgical procedure. This is because smoking puts them at a higher risk of complications, infection and even death.

“Coming into hospital is a very good time for people to consider quitting. There is a good chance that smoking has contributed to their admission in the first place, which means that stopping is key if they want to avoid coming back again.

“We fully appreciate just how difficult it can be for people to stop, but will do everything we can to support them and can also signpost them to the stop smoking service available on site.”

OneLife Suffolk holds regular smoking cessation sessions at the hospital every Wednesday, as well as clinics across east Suffolk.

To book an appointment or find out more about, visit www.onelifesuffolk.co.uk or call 01473 718193.