On 31 May each year, the World Health Organisation marks World No Tobacco Day as a way of highlighting the health factors associated with tobacco use.
This year’s focus is on the link between tobacco and heart disease.
Smoking can have an effect on your heart in a variety of different ways.
It can damage the lining of your arteries and this can make fatty materials build up which make the arteries narrower. If the fatty deposit breaks away from your artery wall, this can lead to a blockage, causing a heart attack.
The carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke can reduce the amount of oxygen that gets into your bloodstream, meaning that your heart has to pump harder to supply your body with the oxygen it needs.
Also, the nicotine in cigarettes helps your body to stimulate adrenaline which makes your heart beat faster, raises your blood pressure and makes your heart work harder.
For more information on how smoking can effect your heart health check out the British Heart Foundation's website.
Quitting smoking is the best way to look after your heart. The good news is that within 20 minutes of quitting smoking your body feels the benefits, with your blood pressure and pulse rate returning to normal. Within 12 hours of quitting both your blood oxygen levels and carbon monoxide levels will have returned to normal. After only 72 hours of being smoke free breathing becomes easier and lung function starts to increase.
Charlton Athletic Community Trust’s Kick The Habit programme, delivered in partnership with the Royal Borough of Greenwich, has been running for the last 10 years, helping smokers to quit and providing support through the first 12 weeks of a quit journey.
Make the first step into quitting smoking this World No Tobacco Day and get in touch with the Kick The Habit Team in Greenwich on 0800 470 4831 or head to a drop in session. Sessions run at the following times and locations:
10am – 5pm Valley Central Youth Hub, Charlton Athletic Football Club
10am – 5pm Eltham Centre
10am – 12pm Coldharbour Library
12pm – 7pm Thamesmere Leisure Centre
5pm – 7pm Valley Central Youth Hub, Charlton Athletic Football Club
10am – 3pm Clover Health Centre, Woolwich
11am – 3pm Woolwich Centre Library