- Is a practice in which a substance, most commonly tobacco, is burned and the smoke is tasted or inhaled.
- The most common method of smoking is through cigarettes, other smoking implements include pipes, cigars, & hookahs.
- Smoking can be active or passive (second hand smoking).
- Tobacco kills up to half of its users.
- Tobacco kills nearly 6 million people each year. More than five million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while more than 600 000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.
- Tobacco users who die prematurely deprive their families of income, raise the cost of health care and hinder economic development.
- There are more than 4000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, of which at least 250 are known to be harmful and more than 50 are known to cause cancer.
- In adults, smoking causes serious cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, including coronary heart disease. In infants, it causes sudden death. In pregnant women, it causes low birth weight.
Smoking and Cancer
- Smoking is the most important preventable cause of cancer in the world.
- Smoking causes more than four in five cases of lung cancer
- Smoking increases the risk of other cancers including cancers of the mouth, larynx, pharynx, , liver, pancreas, stomach, kidney, bladder, cervix and bowel, ovarian cancer and some types of leukemia. Smoking could increase the risk of breast cancer.
- Second-hand smoke can increase a non-smoker’s risk of getting lung cancer, and may also increase the risk of cancers of the larynx and pharynx.
Reasons to quit
- Better health
- In 8 hours Excess carbon monoxide is out of your blood.
- In 5 days most nicotine is out of your body.
- In 1 week your sense of taste and smell improves.
- In 1 month your immune system starts to recover and you are less vulnerable to disease.
- In 3 months your lungs regain the ability to clean themselves.
- In 12 months your risk of heart disease caused by smoking has halved.
- In 5 years your risk of a stroke has dramatically decreased.
- More money to spare
- Better health
Think of how much money you spend on cigarettes every day, week, month or year.
- Improved self-esteem
Quitting smoking also means you will look, feel and smell better – which can help you feel proud of yourself and improve your self-esteem.
Going smoke free
- Identify your smoking triggers
Triggers may include: being with other smokers, drinking coffee or alcohol, feeling bored, & feeling stressed.
- Find alternatives to smoking
Some alternatives may include:
• Check with your doctor for using suitable nicotine replacement product.
• If coffee is a trigger, consider drinking tea, orange juice or water
• If you’re bored, perhaps phone someone or go for a walk
• put an elastic band around your cigarette packet, so it is harder to open. This will delay you smoking and give you time to think about doing something else instead.
Or try the 4Ds:
- Delay for a few minutes, the urge to smoke will pass.
- Deep breathe (slowly and deeply).
- Do something else Ring a friend or do some exercise to distract yourself.
- Drink water Take ‘time out’ and sip slowly to keep your hands and mouth occupied.