Smokers are being urged to use this No Smoking Day, Wednesday, March 8, 2023, to stub out the stress after research showed quitting can make you happier and be as good as antidepressants on symptoms of anxiety. 

A national drive by charity ASH Wales and Public Health Wales aims to dispel the myth that smoking effectively deals with stress and encourages smokers to take up free NHS support, available from Hywel Dda University Health Board’s Smoking and Well-being Team.

The latest YouGov survey for Wales shows over 50 per cent of smokers, including those with mental health problems, would like to quit. Thousands of smokers across Wales will use No Smoking Day as the start of their quit journey.

The health benefits of stopping smoking are immediate, as in as little as eight hours a smoker’s carbon monoxide levels can halve.

Cath Einon, Hywel Dda UHB

This year’s No Smoking Day theme was inspired by the ever-increasing financial burden of smoking and the impact this addiction has on mental health. 

Suzanne Cass, CEO of ASH Wales, said:“Smoking is not a lifestyle choice, it is an addiction. The cost of living, increased stress, and poor mental health are all acutely felt by smokers.

“Our work has shown that many turn to smoking to relieve the stresses of modern life, without realising that smoking could be making things worse. 

“Many think cigarettes are a good stress reliever, when in fact research shows that smoking is not an effective or safe way of dealing with stress. Today is a chance to address these misconceptions, and to signpost the brilliant NHS help that is available in Wales.”

Cath Einon from Hywel Dda UHB’s Smoking and Wellbeing Team, said:“Wednesday, March 8, 2023 is No Smoking Day and we are here to help you to quit and stay stopped.  It's important to remember that quitting smoking is a journey, but with the right support, you can quit smoking and improve your overall health and well-being.

“The health benefits of stopping smoking are immediate, as in as little as eight hours a smoker’s carbon monoxide levels can halve.

“After 24 hours of quitting, carbon monoxide is eliminated from the body and lungs begin to clear mucus and smoking debris. Within just a year of quitting, the risk of a heart attack is halved compared to the risk of a current smoker.

“So make a commitment to quit smoking on No Smoking Day 2023 and take the first step towards a smoke-free future.”

If you would like to quit smoking and live in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire, contact Hywel Dda UHB’s Smoking and Well-being Team for free advice and support via telephone 0300 303 9652, email [email protected] or by completing an online referral form