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Smoking is the single greatest preventable cause of premature death and avoidable illness. It affects health directly and contributes to diseases such as cancers, coronary heart disease, lung disease and stroke as well as many others.

  • 9.4 million adults in the UK smoke
  • Smoking kills 2800 people in NI each year
  • 320 deaths each day in the UK are due to smoking
  • 22% of men and 21% of women smoke the UK (General Lifestyle Survey 2008)
  • 24% of men and 24% of women smoke in NI (CHS 2010)

Tobacco is killing more people in NI than illegal drug use, road traffic accidents, suicides and AIDS combined. Twenty three percent of the population of Northern Ireland are smokers with smoking causing 2300 deaths each year in Northern Ireland and 120,000 deaths UK wide. Approximately half of all regular cigarette smokers will eventually be killed by their habit as each cigarette shortens the lifespan by five minutes, which on average shortens the smoker’s life by 10-15 years.

Smoking 20 cigarettes a day costs a person approximately £2920 per year (depending on costs per packet)  Seventy percent of smokers want to give it up but find it extremely difficult because of their addiction to tobacco.

After stopping smoking, health benefits can almost be felt immediately:

20 minutes

Blood pressure and pulse rate return to normal.

8 hours

Nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in blood are reduced by half, oxygen levels return to normal.

24 hours

Carbon monoxide will be eliminated from the body and the lungs will start to clear out mucus.

48 hours

There is no nicotine left in the body.

3-9 months

Coughs, wheezing and breathing problems improve as lung function increases.

1 year

Risk of heart attack falls to half that of a smoker.

10 years

Risk of lung cancer falls to half that of a smoker.

15 years

Risk of heart attack falls to the same as someone who has never smoked.

Further benefits:

  • Improved sense of taste and smell.
  • More energy.
  • Clearer, less irritated eyes.
  • Feeling more relaxed.
  • Wake up feeling better.
  • Fewer allergy and sinus problems.
  • Improvement in existing problems such as asthma, diabetes and emphysema.
  • Improved complexion.

Kilcooley Women’s Centre works closely with the SETRUST promoting and developing a number of initiatives. There has never been a better time to quit smoking but we also realise that this could be a coping mechanism for you. Let’s work together to help you find the best solution. Visit: or contact the SETRUST Smoking Cessation Team on 02890413855 for help or advice.  

For more information on quitting: