Smoking Control

Smoking control

Smoking is a well-established risk factor for not only cardiovascular disease but also other life-threatening illnesses such as bronchitis and cancers of the lung, throat, and oesophagus. Quitting smoking – or, if you are not a smoker, not picking up this habit in the first place – will reduce your risk of heart disease significantly as well as prevent the deterioration of any existing cardiovascular conditions which you may have. In fact, for smokers, giving up smoking is the most effective way of protecting themselves against coronary heart disease. Although breaking free of the nicotine habit may be difficult, the good news is that it is never too late for a person to quit, regardless of how long he has been smoking for. Once he stops smoking, his body will start to repair much of the damage done by his years of smoking. His risk of cardiovascular complications will be reduced by 50% within one year, and will be nearly the same as the risk faced by a long-time non-smoker within 15 years. In addition, the health of his family members and those around him will no longer be threatened by the “passive smoke” exhaled from his cigarettes.

Read more: Smoking as a Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Disease >

If you are currently a smoker, here are some ways in which you can help yourself to quit:

  • Throw away all your cigarettes and lighters and simply stop smoking
  • If you find this “cold turkey” method too daunting, start by reducing the number of cigarettes which you smoke daily – set yourself the target of smoking one less cigarette each day until you stop altogether;
  • Tell your family and close friends of your intention to stop smoking so that they can support you in your efforts;
  • Spend more time with non-smoking friends and/or in smoke-free places;
  • Similarly, stay away from people, places, and situations which might tempt you to smoke, especially during the initial stages of abstinence.

Smoking cessation programmes
You may also find it helpful to seek professional counselling or join a smoking-cessation programme. Institutions which offer such assistance in Singapore include:

Alexandra Hospital
Smoking Cessation Programme
Dept of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Tel: 6379-3330/3331

Health Promotion Board
Quitline (a hotline manned by trained nurse counsellors)
Tel: 1800-4382000

Child Guidance Clinic
(for young smokers aged 19 and below)
Tel: 6435-3878/3879

Institute of Mental Health
Community Addictions Management Programme (CAMP)
Tel: 6389-2200

Singapore General Hospital
Dept of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Tel: 6321-4377

Tan Tock Seng Hospital
Smoking Cessation Clinic
Dept of Respiratory Medicine
Tel: 6357-8010/8011