Smoking – addictive, dangerous but stoppable.
There are around 10 million adults in the UK who smoke – around 17% of the adult population. About half of all regular smokers will die from their addiction and suffer major health consequences during their lives including heart attack, emphysema, dental and skin problems, and lung cancer. Smoking is also the main cause of fatal accidental fires in the home.
The dangers of smoking are well documented. We all know smoking is bad for our health, so why is it so difficult to give the cigs up? Well, it’s mainly because smoking is addictive and nicotine is a drug. Nicotine makes our brains crave the frequent input of the drug into our bodies.
What are the main dangers/risks associated with smoking?
There are many negatives to smoking – financial, social and health-wise. The common health risks are:
• Lung cancer and other lung diseases
• Cancers of the throat, mouth, bowel, and other organs
• Heart disease
• Blood/circulatory problems such as stroke and poor blood flow
• Gum disease and teeth staining
• Respiratory problems such as smoker’s cough, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, COPD, and many other respiratory illnesses
• Type – 2 Diabetes risk
Smoking is also damaging to people around you, and the environment. It’s a financial drain and socially shunned in a modern, health-conscious society.
Smoking cigarettes harms every organ in the human body. It is related to many illnesses and diseases.
Learn more about how drugs affect the body at Smoking and The Body
Time to quit
The good news is, that after quitting the damage caused by smoking is reduced. One year after stopping smoking, the risk of a heart attack falls to about half of the risk to a smoker.
Two-thirds of current smokers say that they would like to quit. There’s lots of help out there to help you stop smoking. See your GP for more information or look up the “Smokefree” programme and app in England.
The first step is to want to give up smoking, then seek support, plan your exact date to ditch the cigs and take it one day at a time. It is possible, achievable and doable – it will benefit your health and lifestyle massively, and probably increase your life span! It is never too late to stop, and it is probably one of the best things you’ll ever do for your health.