Smoking

The dangers and costs of smoking

Smoking will damage your body, and has many physical and financial costs. It’s dangerous to your health, and the health of those around you.

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Smoking and pregnancy

Every child deserves the best, healthiest start in life. But if you’re smoking when pregnant, you will be causing harm to your unborn body. Each cigarette can put over 4,000 chemicals into your body, which could be carried to your baby. You’ll also be reducing their essential supply of oxygen.

Don’t damage the heart and lungs of your baby before they have even developed. Getting pregnant is the perfect time to stop smoking.


Cancer

Although there are many different causes of cancer, smoking is one of the biggest. The links between smoking and cancer are clear and well-established, responsible for almost 20% or all cancer cases, and more than a quarter of cancer-related deaths in the UK.

But this cause of cancer is easily preventable. It’s never too late to quit, and stopping smoking now will help prevent damage to your lungs and other parts of your body.


Heart Disease

Smoking has many different effects on your heart. Carbon monoxide reduces the oxygen in your blood and nicotine stimulates adrenalin production, both making your heart beat faster and harder. It can also damage the lining of your arteries and cause fatty deposits to block them.

The best change you can make today to improve the health of your heart is to stop smoking. Quit now and you could almost halve your risk of having a heart attack.


COPD

Many smokers experience breathing difficulties, often as a result of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This is the name given to a range of lung conditions - like emphysema and chronic bronchitis - that cause damage to the lungs and inflammation of the airways.

You might not even know you have COPD, but if you smoke and find breathing hard, it’s a common problem. Many middle-aged or older smokers will suffer from COPD.


Passive smoking

Smoking doesn’t just damage your health, it can also be very dangerous to those around you. Most of the smoke from cigarettes, cigars and pipes goes into the air around you, not your lungs. Anyone near you will breathe that smoke in and be at risk of the same diseases as you.

Protect loved ones, especially children, from lung cancer, heart disease and other conditions. The best choice is to quit smoking now, but as a minimum, you should make your car and your home smoke-free.


Death

All the research and facts show that smoking can kill you. Each year in the UK, about 100,000 people die as a result of smoking, making it one of the biggest single causes of death. Many more smokers will live with life-changing, debilitating illnesses because of smoking.

Smoking can increase your risk of developing serious health problems. You have a higher chance of getting around 50 different diseases and conditions as a smoker, including those that are irreversible and fatal.


Smoking & Mental Health

Being smoke-free helps relieve stress, anxiety and depression and gives you a more positive outlook on life. These benefits apply to all smokers, not just those with pre-existing mental health problems.

Studies show that people's anxiety, depression and stress levels are lower after they stop smoking when compared with those who carry on smoking and that their quality of life and mood improves.


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