Giving up smoking when you are living with or after cancer

If you smoke, giving up is the healthiest decision you can make. Stopping smoking reduces your risk of heart and lung disease, bone thinning (osteoporosis), and smoking-related cancers. If you have been diagnosed with cancer, it may also reduce the chances of your cancer coming back after treatment. You will also feel better, look better and save money.

People smoke for many reasons. A person who has been diagnosed with cancer may continue smoking and find it hard to give up. Living with cancer and having treatment can be very difficult. Some people feel that smoking will help them cope with what is happening. Some people smoke to help them cope with stress or boredom. It may also be a form of comfort and can give a feeling of pleasure.

Smoking can be a difficult habit to break, especially when you are stressed. There are support services that can help you. Your doctor or specialist nurse can also give you help. Your GP can give advice and provide nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) or other medications on prescription, such as nicotine patches, gums and inhalers.

You may have tried to give up before and started smoking again. It is important to remember that it is never too late to stop smoking. If you would like to stop, you may find it helpful to think about the benefits of stopping smoking. There are lots of benefits for you and for the people close to you.

Stopping smoking in three stages

There are three stages to giving up smoking:

  1. Preparing to stop
  2. Stopping
  3. Staying a non-smoker.

Back to Giving up smoking

Preparing to stop smoking

Giving up smoking can be challenging. There are several things you can do that will help you quit.

Stopping smoking

There are things that can help you cope with some of the problems you might face in the first few weeks of stopping smoking.

Staying a non-smoker

If you’ve decided to give up smoking, several things can help you stay stopped.