Information about smoking
Smoking is the primary cause of preventable illness and premature death in England. It has been identified as the single biggest cause of inequality accounting for over half of the difference in risk of premature death between social classes. It harms nearly every organ of the body causing over 85% of deaths from lung cancer, around 80% of deaths from bronchitis and emphysema, and about 17% of deaths from heart disease. Over a quarter of all cancer deaths can be attributed to smoking, including cancer of the mouth, lip, throat, bladder, kidney, stomach, liver and cervix. Exposure to other people’s tobacco smoke is also a cause of ill-health. Second-hand smoke has been shown to cause:
Second-hand smoke exposure also harms babies and children, with an increased risk of respiratory infections, increased severity of asthma symptoms, more frequent occurrence of chronic coughs, phlegm and wheezing, and increased risk of cot death and glue ear.
What you can do to help yourself
Stopping smoking reduces the risk of developing many fatal diseases. The table below shows the benefits of stopping smoking
There are many things smokers can do to stop smoking. However, it has been shown that smokers are four times more likely to succeed with the support of a trained NHS adviser. Smoking is a serious addiction and it’s important to get the correct support and guidance. To help stop smoking:
Get professional help through NHS trained specialist advisors
Medications help smokers to stop by reducing the chemically-driven need to smoke without providing the same satisfaction as smoking and so not becoming the object of dependence. Nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) include: Bupropion (Zyban), Varenicline (Champix). Psychological support aims to strengthen the smoker’s motivation not to smoke and provides advice on medication and quitting techniques. This could be offered through one-one or group support (or via the telephone).
Make a list of reasons why you want to stop smoking. If you know why you want to stop smoking, it could help you through the most difficult moments. These may include better all-round health, set a good example to children, more money to spend, better chance of having a healthy baby, food and drink tastes better, better skin and complexion, and no early wrinkles, fresher smelling breath, hair and clothes, and no more cigarette smells around the house, travel on trains, aircraft, buses will be easier.
Local sources of support
Call the national NHS Stop Smoking Helpline on free-phone 0800 1690 169 (7am-11pm). They will sign-post you to your nearest Stop Smoking Support Service.
Visit http://smokefree.nhs.uk/, the NHS Smokefree website for advice and information, toolkits to help you quit and information about smoking during pregnancy.