Stop smoking

Stopping smoking is the single most important thing to improve your health and wellbeing. 

You are four times more likely to quit smoking with help than if you try and give up all on your own.

Do you know all the benefits of quitting smoking?

Take the quiz and see how well you do:

Health benefits after stopping smoking

There are many benefits to stopping smoking. The table below shows some of the health benefits when you quit smoking.

Time since quitting Health benefits of quitting
20 minutes Pulse return to normal
8 hours Nicotine is reduced by 90% and carbon monoxide levels in blood reduce by 75%. Circulation improves
24 hours Carbon monoxide and nicotine almost eliminated from the body. Lungs start to clear out smoking debris
48 hours All traces of nicotine are removed from the body. The ability to taste and smell improves
72 hours Breathing is easier. Bronchial tubes begin to relax and energy levels increase
2-12 weeks Circulation improves
1 month Physical appearance improves - skin loses its grey pallor and becomes less wrinkled
3-9 months Coughing and wheezing is reduced
1 year Excess risk of a heart attack reduces by half
10 years Risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a continuing smoker
15 years Risk of a heart attack falls to the same as someone who has never smoked

Help is available to help you quit

There is support to help you stop smoking. The many options means that you can find the service that is right for you. Stop Smoking Service advisers are there to support you to quit. They can also provide information on different methods to quit smoking such as electronic cigarettes, carbon monoxide readings, literature and advice.

We encourage residents to use the following services to help them quit smoking:

  • Stop Smoking London: you can get free specialist, personalised help from health advisers over the phone to quit smoking. Contact details for Stop Smoking London: or call 0300 1234 1044
  • your local GP will be able to provide you with a treatment programme
  • you can receive support from your local pharmacist who can assist you without you having to wait for a GP appointment. The following pharmacists are available to help you on your quit journey:

Pharmacy name Address
Allans Pharmacy

1207 High Road, Romford RM6 4AL

Allens Pharmacy

19 Electric Parade, George Lane, South Woodford E18 2LY


12 The Broadway, Woodford Green IG8 0HL

Fairlop Pharmacy

87 High Street, Barkingside IG6 2AH

Gold Pharmacy

162-164 Longwood Gardens, Barkingside IG5 0EW

Lloyds Pharmacy

208 New North Road, Hainault IG6 3BS

Lloyds Pharmacy

2 Brooks Parade, Green Lane, Ilford IG3 9RT

Mayors Chemist

113-115 Snakes Lane West, Woodford Green IG8 0DY

P&S Chemist

111 Ilford Lane, Ilford IG1 2RJ

Ropham Ltd

149 Cranbrook Road, Ilford IG1 4PU

Sheldon's Pharmacy

367 Eastern Ave, Ilford IG2 6NE

Wellchem Pharmacy

641 High Road, Seven Kings IG3 8RA

Zadams Pharmacy

841 High Road, Goodmayes IG3 8TE

Useful links

Other MyLife pages: Healthy eating, Healthy weight, Diabetes

External websites: NHS Smokefree, NHS Choices stop smoking, Quit charity, Action on Smoking and Health, The British Lung Foundation, Diabetes UK