Stopober - stop smoking sign

Stub out health risks this Stoptober, get a snapshot of your health and wellbeing with a home blood test kit

Stoptober - the NHS campaign to get smokers to consider quitting – is back for another year.

The annual October event aims to highlight the risks of smoking and encourage those who indulge in the habit to stub it out, by setting a month-long challenge while providing help, support, and guidance.

At Blue Horizon, we’re big fans of this campaign. It’s well known that smoking has a negative impact on our health. From increased risk of heart attacks, stroke and cancers to a greater chance of impotency, there are so many reasons to stop smoking.

Every year around 78,000 people in the UK die from smoking, with many more living with long-term smoking-related illnesses. It’s a sobering statistic that highlights how important it is to try and quit.

For Stoptober, we’re taking a closer look at some of the key risks associated with smoking, as well as how quickly you can see improvements to your health when you stop.

As smoking can restrict blood supply, it can cause impotence in men due to reduced blood flow "down below". It can also reduce fertility both in men and women.


Common health problems associated with smoking

As we mentioned, there are lots of health problems that can be linked to smoking. Some of the most common, and also, most preventable when you give up the cigarettes, are:

  • Cancer

Smoking causes around 7 out of every 10 cases of lung cancer. But it’s not only the lungs which can be impacted by this bad habit. Smoking can do damage to a range of areas in the body, including:

  • bladder
  • bowel
  • cervix
  • kidney
  • larynx
  • liver
  • mouth
  • stomach
  • oesophagus
  • throat

It’s quite a daunting list, but it’s well worth being aware of all the areas which can be impacted by smoking when it comes to cancer.

  • Cardiovascular disease

Smoking causes damage to the heart and blood circulation. This increases the risk of:

Cerebrovascular disease (damage to the arteries that bring blood to the brain)

Heart attack

Heart disease

Peripheral vascular disease (damaged blood vessels)


  • Lung diseases

Naturally, the act of smoking pulls harmful chemicals into the lungs which can cause a range of short and long-term damage and disease, such as bronchitis, emphysema, pneumonia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Smoking can also worsen the symptoms of respiratory conditions such as asthma.

  • Sexual health and fertility

As smoking can restrict blood supply, it can cause impotence in men due to reduced blood flow "down below". It can also reduce fertility both in men and women.

How soon can you notice a difference to your health after quitting?

While the risks associated with smoking are quite scary, the good news is that quitting can have a huge positive impact on your health. The sooner you quit, the sooner you'll notice positive changes to your body and health. Here are some of the changes you can expect over time.

After 48 hours

Your body works to flush out the carbon monoxide. As your lungs clear out the mucus you begin to regain your sense of taste and smell.

After 2 – 12 weeks

Blood is able to pump more effectively around your body thanks to improved circulation.

After 3 – 9 months

You may notice breathing problems, wheezing and coughs improving as your lung function increases.

After 1 year

After 12 months your risk of heart attack drops by 50%

After 10 years 

After a decade of not smoking, your risk of lung cancer halves

Considering quitting? Find out just how much difference it makes to your health

If you’re considering quitting smoking and are wondering about your current health profile, blood testing is a great option. It can give you a snapshot of your health and wellbeing, flagging any issues and deficiencies you need to keep an eye on.

It’s also a good idea if you want to be able to track the changes over time once you’ve quit smoking. Testing again after 12 months can show how much your health has improved and is a great monitor to help you continue the great work. Our range of comprehensive health check tests can provide the information you need.

A convenient way to test your health

Private blood testing is becoming a popular solution for a whole range of medical and diagnostic checks, for people who want quick access to important information about their health and wellbeing. And with our quick and convenient home-to-laboratory testing kits, getting that information is easy.

Our Comprehensive PLUS V test  is a quick and easy home-to-laboratory test which can provide the information you need, without a visit to the doctor or hospital. The test includes screening for 45 different conditions and health checks, including cholesterol, diabetes, liver and kidney function, blood count and more.

Our postal kits give you the opportunity to collect a blood sample in the comfort of your own home, at a time to suit you. Simply take your sample and return it to us for testing. Your results, which are emailed to you, can be used to seek the right treatment, as needed. 

Find out more

Quick and Reliable

There's a reason that over 30% of Blue Horizon Kit requests are from patients that have used us before.