In the UK approximately every four minutes one person dies from a smoking-related disease, and every year hundreds of thousands of people around the world die from diseases caused by smoking tobacco products. It’s estimated that one in two lifetime smokers will die from their smoking habit, and over half of these deaths will occur in middle age. Lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, emphysema, bronchitis and limb amputation are just some of the serious conditions caused by smoking. Tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 different chemicals and at least 43 are known to cause cancer in humans. Lung cancer is the second most common form of cancer after skin cancer, and there are several types of lung cancer each of which affects a different group of lung cells. Lung cancer normally takes many years to develop and symptoms usually become frequently obvious between the ages of 50 and 65 years of age. Individuals who smoke are ten times more likely to die from lung cancer than non-smokers, and one in five deaths from heart disease is the result of smoking tobacco products. Smoking also increases the risk of mouth, lip and throat cancer.
Many people are not aware that Smoking can also affect fertility levels. Males who smoke may experience a lower sperm count than a non-smoker, as well as the increased risk of erectile dysfunction (impotence) caused by altered circulation to the blood vessels in the penis. Females who smoke are more likely to miscarriage and may take longer to conceive. A baby born to a mother who smokes during pregnancy has a higher risk of dying from cot death or developing asthma and respiratory disease.
People want to stop smoking for all kinds of reasons; the following are some of the most common:
- I can’t afford it (wasting hard earned money)
- I want to improve my health (serious health risks, breathlessness)
- I feel anti-social (pubs, restaurants, shopping centre, Work-place)
- I feel embarrassed (yellow teeth/fingers, clothes & hair smells, bad breath)