Every day is a great day to quit

New Year’s Resolutions come and go, but it’s never a bad time to make a positive change for your health – and your wallet.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone in many different ways, including peoples’ smoking habits. Many people who smoke may face more new challenges, but an attempt to quit could be the answer to help offset some of these. 

WSLHD’s Tobacco Control team has monitored smokers’ responses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some smokers in Australia and around the world have tried to quit to improve their lung and heart health.

4 out of every 10 are quitting. 3 out of every 10 are smoking more.

Motivations for quitting have included: to reduce COVID-19 risks, to protect family members from breathing in second-hand smoke while at home, and to reduce financial hardship. 

The team also found some people have increased smoking due to stress, anxiety, boredom at home and being isolated from loved ones.

For some people, having more money through increased income support payments has factored into increased smoking. With those increases now over and cigarette prices continuing to increase, now is the best time to work out a plan to quit.  

An average smoker can save up to $700 each month and $8,500 each year by quitting. 

Dr Ankur Srivastava, Staff Specialist from WSLHD’s Mental Health Services says there are much better ways to manage stress than smoking.

“There are many services available to help you manage stress in a healthy way.

“Smoking and addiction to nicotine make stress worse, quitting will improve your mental wellbeing. It’s always a good time to make an attempt to quit,” Dr Srivastava said.  

Check out the COVID-19 and Smoking page on the WSLHD COVID-19 Community Resources website to find more information about healthy ways to manage stress, the benefits of quitting smoking and how to access free quit and mental health support services.  

Break the cycle to improve your health and mood for a fresh start in 2021!