UK Government

Department of Health (London): Quit Kit – The Perfect Partner For Valentines

Press Release   •   Feb 09, 2011 11:35 GMT

Smokers in London are being encouraged to share a ‘fresh breath’ kiss with their Valentine this year, by quitting smoking with the help of a free NHS Quit Kit now available in participating pharmacies.

For the first time, the new improved Quit Kit contains a voucher for a week’s free trial of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) patches which can double smokers’ chances of quitting smoking successfully. Developed by NHS Smokefree together with experts, smokers and ex-smokers, the Quit Kit also contains practical tools and advice to help smokers quit for good. 

Smokers planning their perfect Valentine’s evening might want to think twice about the impact of smoking on their appearance. Smoking can prematurely age the skin by between 10 and 20 years and increases the likelihood of facial wrinkles. It causes tooth loss, bad breath, gum-disease and stains tooth enamel. It also has an impact on fertility and sexual performance; men in their 30s and 40s smoking increases the risk of impotence by around 50 per cent; and women smokers are over three times more likely than non-smokers to have taken more than a year to conceive. 

Research1 also shows that smoking makes people less attractive to the opposite sex. Nearly half of the men surveyed associated smoking with wrinkles, bad skin and less enjoyable kissing. Over two thirds of young men and woman, and over half of smokers, say smoking reduces sexual attractiveness and nearly half of smokers said they would quit to improve their sex appeal. 

Smokers quitting before Valentine’s Day with the help of the Quit Kit will quickly notice the benefits. Within just 20 minutes of quitting smoking blood pressure and pulse rates return to normal, after 48 hours the sense of taste and smell improves, after 72 hours breathing becomes easier and after a week of sleep will improve and so too will the skin. 

It only takes between two and 12 weeks for circulation to improve, giving the skin a radiant boost. 

Quitting smoking means that not only will you improve your appearance, attractiveness and general health, you will also save money. If you smoke 20 a-day you can save around £171 a month – giving you more money to spend on your Valentine. 

Dominick Nguyen, Tobacco Policy Campaigns & Communication Manager, London Regional Public Health Group said: “"In London there are still around 22 per cent of people who smoke and we know that around two thirds would like to stop. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your appearance, health and for your loved one this Valentine's.The NHS Quit Kit is full of practical tools and advice that can help you manage your smoking triggers and cravings, and this year you can get a week's free trial of Nicotine Replacement Therapy patches. Using NRT or other stop smoking medicines can double your chances of quitting smoking successfully compared to going it alone. The Quit Kit is part of a range of free, local support available from the NHS." 

The Quit Kit is available from participating pharmacies across the country that are working in partnership with the Department of Health including Co-operative,, Sainsbury’s, Boots, Tesco, Manichem, Whitworth, Superdrug and a range of other participating pharmacies. Visitwww.nhs.uk/smokefree to find your local participating pharmacy. 

Ruby Hammer, celebrity make-up artist and co-owner of Ruby & Millie is supporting the campaign: “My work means that I come into close contact with lots of different people - some young, some old, some smokers, some non smokers. It is clear to me straight away when I am working with a person who has or still smokes - I can immediately see the effect it has on their skin. Stopping smoking is the best way to improve skin quality and vitality, and will help you to look your best on Valentine’s Day." 

Any smoker who wants to quit can get a range of expert help free from the NHS. More information is available at www.nhs.uk/smokefree

Notes to editors

For more information, access to spokespeople and case studies (including people who have successfully quit smoking or NHS Stop Smoking advisers) please contact:

Richard Tibenham, COI News & PR Tel: 0117 917 5051 and richard.tibenham@coi.gsi.gov.uk

Charlotte McLeod, COI News & PR Tel: 020 7261 8602 and charlotte.mcleod@coi.gsi.gov.uk

Notes to Editors: 

The Quit Kit includes:

- a voucher to request a week’s free trial of NRT patches; 
- information on stop smoking medicine; 
- a ‘tangle’ to keep hands and mind busy; 
- MP3 downloads that have been scientifically proven to reduce the urge to smoke; 
- a wall-planner and stickers to track your quitting journey; 
- a quitting planner which helps smokers assess their habits and offers tips on managing cravings; 
- cards that describe the damage smoking does to your body; 
- a willpower booster that assesses addiction levels and offers top tips to boost willpower; 
- a health and wealth wheel which shows the benefits of quitting on your health and the money you can save; 
- information on other NHS quitting help including local NHS stop smoking services, Smokefree Together programme and online advisers; and 
- order forms for Quit Kits to give to friends who smoke. 

DH survey of over 1,000 men and women aged 18-35, 2004 

65 per cent of smokers say they want to quit, Smoking and smoking cessation in England; findings from the Smoking Toolkit Study October 2010. 

The week’s free trial of NRT patches will be either Niquitin Clear 21mg patches or Nicotinell TTS 30 21mg/24 hour patches. 

To find a participating pharmacy visit www.nhs.uk/smokefree Smokers who can’t find a participating pharmacy in their local area can order online. 

In addition to the Quit Kit, the NHS offers free expert help to quit smoking at local NHS Stop Smoking Services – smokers can choose between one-to-one or group support. Smokers who use local NHS Stop Smoking Services are four times more likely to quit smoking successfully than if they go-it-alone, and 9 out of 10 smokers who have used an NHS stop smoking service would recommend it. To find a local NHS Stop Smoking Service visit www.nhs.uk/smokefree

Contacts

NDS Enquiries 
Phone: For enquiries please contact the issuing dept 
ndsenquiries@coi.gsi.gov.uk