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Stop Smoking

By: Helena Stratford - Updated: 28 Mar 2013 | comments*Discuss
Tobacco Smoking Health Death Health Tar

Smoking constitutes the greatest single cause of ill health and premature death in the UK with 16,000 smoking-related deaths each year.

A very good reason, then, to stop smoking today.

Smoking Facts

  • Smoking causes cancer, heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.
  • Half of all smokers die from smoking-related diseases.
  • The life expectancy of long term smokers can be reduced by an average of ten years.
  • The younger you are when you start smoking, the more likely you are to continue for longer and to die earlier.
  • 30,000 people die from lung cancer each year with 8 in 10 of those being caused either directly or in part, by smoking.

Ingredients In Tobacco Smoke

Cigarettes contain over 4,000 chemicals including fifty known carcinogens, with the three most significantly damaging ingredients being tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide.


Tar causes cancer and damages lungs. It is the sticky brown stuff which stains the fingers and teeth of smokers and which is difficult to get rid of once it is deposited in the body.


Nicotine is a drug which influences brain activity. Just like other drugs, if you become dependent on it, you will suffer withdrawal symptoms if it is denied. This is why regular smokers find it so hard to stop smoking.

Drug withdrawal symptoms include lack of concentration, irritability, hunger, restlessness, anxiety, and headaches.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide is a gas which is also classed as a toxic emission from car exhausts. It reduces the ability for blood to transport oxygen round the body and impairs lung function. In the case of mothers who smoke during pregnancy, the growth of the unborn baby can be adversely affected from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Other ingredients, as listed by the NHS, which are contained in cigarettes include:

  • Acetone – Nail polish remover
  • Ammonia - Toilet cleaner
  • Arsenic - Rat poison
  • Benzo(a)pyrene - Diesel exhaust fumes
  • Carbon Monoxide - Petrol exhaust fumes
  • DDT and Dieldrin - Insecticides
  • Formaldehyde - Preservative for dead bodies
  • Hydrogen Cyanide - Poison used in gas chambers
  • Methanol - Rocket fuel
  • Titanium - Metal used to make aeroplanes

Benefits Of Stopping smoking

There are numerous benefits to giving up smoking for good - not least the health improvement of you and your children. Just a few of the positive outcomes include:

  • A reduction in the chance of contracting lung cancer or other smoking related diseases and illnesses.
  • A reduction in the risk of your children developing asthma, glue ear, and general poor health through second-hand smoke contamination.
  • Improved levels of fertility.
  • An improvement in the condition of your skin and teeth

Ways To Stop Smoking

Today there are many ways to stop smoking from hypnotherapy to going ‘cold turkey’ and different methods suit different people. However, the most important thing is that you decide to do it and seek the support which is out there to help you succeed.

The NHS believes that if you ask for (free) help, then you are four times more likely to manage to stop smoking once and for all and they offer the following services amongst others:

  • Stop Smoking Service

The National Health Service runs a free, local, country-wide support operation to help people stop smoking. You will be allocated and advisor and help how to prepare to quit as well as being given the opportunity to meet fellow-quitters for support and motivation.

  • Patches And Gums
  • Medical aids such as nicotine patches and gums contribute to a wider system to help people stop smoking called Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). Available through prescription, doctors can help smokers manage their cravings by replacing cigarettes with other substances which allow the body a gradual withdrawal without the toxic overload of pollutants contained in cigarettes.

    For More Information

    For more information on stopping smoking, please follow the link to the NHS website, Go Smoke Free at: http://gosmokefree.nhs.uk/

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