WELLBEING: Look After Your Lungs

March 2013 is the month to think about looking after your lungs and those of the people around you. With World Asthma Day on 7th March and No Smoking Day on 13th March, the spotlight is on how we breathe, what we breathe and the health of our lungs. Breathlessness, trouble breathing and serious lung problems can be a result of pollution, environmental issues and smoking. If you're a smoker you may have already pledged to give up in 2013. March is a good month to do so with No Smoking Day plus World Asthma Day reminds us of the problems people face on a daily basis with their breathing. Be inspired, consider giving up and think about the health of your lungs. Why not join in on No Smoking Day on Wednesday 13 March organised by the British Heart Foundation? This year marks the 30th anniversary of the annual campaign and the 2013 theme is "Swap Fags for Swag", focusing on everything smokers stand to gain when they quit: • better health and vitality • a positive change of lifestyle • improved heart health • setting a good example for others • healthier lungs • greater life expectancy Smoking is linked to serious and often fatal conditions such as lung cancer. In fact, smoking is the number one cause of avoidable premature death in the UK. But the health benefits start after just 20 minutes of quitting. After 10 years the risk of lung cancer is halved and after 15 years, the risk of heart attack is the same as that of people who have never smoked!

DID YOU KNOW?

… after 24 hours your lungs will start to clear out the build up of tar and carbon monoxide is eliminated from the body. … after 72 hours your breathing will become noticeably easier as your bronchial tubes begin to relax. … after 3-9 months your lungs will have room for up to 10% more oxygen improving smoking related coughs, wheezes and other breathing problems.

THE PLEDGE

Support is key to help stop smoking, so here are some tips to help you or those around you take the pledge and give up: • find a personal reason to give up • inspire those and lead by example • set a date and plan ahead • get help from your GP, chemist or call your EAP helpline number Why not use No Smoking Day as a starting point. Be inspired and support your colleagues, friends and family in kicking the habit.

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