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Smoking

Smoking causes several cancer deaths in the UK – one person dies every 15 minutes in the UK from lung cancer. Smoking is the main cause of cancer in the world.

Smoking is a dangerous drug as tobacco and tobacco smoke have at least 4000 harmful and poisonous chemicals in them that may lead to cancer. Chemicals include:

  • nicotine (which makes smokers wanting to smoke more)
  • carbon monoxide (which can lead to breathing problems)
  • tar (this stays in the lungs and can cause cancer), and
  • many and many other poisonous chemicals.

Low-tar cigarettes are just as dangerous as they hold the same harmful chemicals as normal brands.

Regular smoking may mean a higher risk of becoming seriously ill. It is believed if everyone stops smoking, 120,000 lives would be saved each year.

It is not only the smokers who are at risk, but also people who breathe in smoke from other people’s cigarettes. This alone kills many hundred people in the UK each year.

Smoking, and chewing tobacco, can lead to:

  • mouth problems including the larynx (voice box)
  • Lung cancer
  • Lung diseases, e.g. bronchitis (infection of the lungs), emphysema (damage to the lungs)
  • Heart attacks
  • Liver, kidney and bladder problems
  • A higher risk of developing leukaemia
  • Hodgkin’s Disease (cancer of the lymph glands)
  • Pancreatic problems
  • Some types of bowel cancer
  • Problems with the oesophagus (food pipe)
  • Cervical problems for women
  • Problems in getting pregnant
  • Skin looking older quicker
  • Smelly breathing and clothes.

Children of parents who smoke have a higher risk of developing:

  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis (infection of the lungs)
  • Pneumonia
  • Sore throats and coughs
  • Ear infections, and
  • Other illnesses.

Regular smoker, if they give up smoking completely, will benefit greatly as this will reduce the risk of cancer and other illnesses. They will feel fitter and have more money in their pocket on which they can spend on something else. If 10 cigarettes a day is normal, think how much money can be saved over one year, if smoking is stopped. There may be enough saved to buy a holiday abroad!

Deaths from lung cancer have dropped since the 1970s when people started to stop smoking. There are several support groups to help smokers to stop smoking and to stay stopped. Many nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products (patches, gums, inhalators, nasal sprays, tablets, lozenges) are available to help smokers to stop. These helps also reduce the risk of ex-smokers going back to smoking once again.


Check out the other sections below...

Contraception
Contraception
Drugs
Drugs
Money Management
Money Management
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Volunteering
Volunteering
Skin Cancer and the Sun
Skin Cancer and the Sun
Smoking
Smoking
Alcohol
Alcohol
Diabetes
Diabetes
Obesity
Obesity