Smoking is a greater cause of death or disease than any other single disease (World Health Organisation). Cigarettes contain around 4,000 chemicals that damage and change the cells and the systems of the body. Around 80 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer.
People quite often say they smoke to help them cope with stress, in fact smoking does the exact opposite. Nicotine is not a relaxant, it is a stimulant so you become gradually more addicted to the nicotine, the more addicted and set in your ways the harder it is to quit smoking. Smoking is therefore used as a coping mechanism by a lot of people, it takes your mind off other issues but in fact is doing more harm than good to your body.
Smoking causes serious damage to the lungs and is directly associated with lung diseases such as lung cancer, emphysema and chronic bronchitis resulting in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD causes irreversible lung damage and some patients get to the stage where they struggle to breathe on their own and require the use of a ventilator.
Smoking from a young age also has a serious effect on your health. Those who smoke from an early age (through adolescence) are 3 times more likely to die from a premature death than those who began smoking when into their twenties.
Passive or second hand smoke also causes serious damage to children, including many of the diseases that a typical smoker would be likely to get. The chemicals from the cigarette are contained in the smoke that a smoker will breathe out, this can get into the lungs of children through inhalation. This smoke increases the risk of asthma, ear and throat infections and increased risk of cancers in later life.
Smoking is also a very expensive habit, on average a pack of cigarettes cost £7.98 as of 2016. If you smoke 20 cigarettes a day this works out as:
- Monthly: £243
- Yearly: £2913
In troubled financial times the money saved from smoking could be used best elsewhere. In Sefton there is a large network of support available for those wanting to quit smoking, to find out about the services available to you call Healthy Sefton on 0300 100 1000. This link has lots of useful information regarding smoking.