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Smoking

“My girlfriend won’t kiss me after I’ve smoked a cigarette because she says my breath smells too bad. I’m giving up right away!”

Your Health Silhouette

Most people know that smoking causes cancer, heart disease and lung disease and that it can shorten your life too.

But people who smoke also get bad breath, yellow fingers, rotting teeth, smelly clothes and hair, and they develop wrinkles earlier. They get a ‘smoker’s cough’ and aren’t as fit as nonsmokers.

Another reason to avoid cigarettes is the amount they cost. Just think what you could buy with that money instead. Check out www.smokefree.nhs.uk for the smoking calculator and find out how much it’s costing you.

Your Health Silhouette

Smoking can harm other people who breathe in your smoke as secondhand smoke contains 4000 toxic chemicals. It also hurts your unborn baby if you’re pregnant.

The nicotine in tobacco is addictive, which means it’s hard to give up. There are lots of ways to get help to quit – just find the one that’s best for you.

Look out for

  • You must be 18 years old to legally buy cigarettes
  • It’s now against the law to smoke in enclosed public places
  • Cigarette smoke contains 4,000 chemicals – some of the same ones are in insect poison and floor cleaner
  • Your life could be shortened by 20 minutes for every cigarette you smoke
  • Smoking can cause many ugly side effects like premature wrinkles, rotting teeth and bad breath

It’s in your hands

There are lots of ways to quit smoking. For example, going cold turkey, cutting down gradually, going to a support group and using nicotine replacement therapy. Your Doctor or Stop Smoking Service will be able to help you to stop (for details of your nearest NHS stop smoking service, text SMOKE FREE and your postcode to 60003)

If you try to give up but start smoking again, keep trying. Many people quit several times before they give up for good.

Just 20 minutes after your last cigarette your body will start getting healthier.

After 72 hours you’ll find it easier to breathe. But it takes 15 years for your risk of serious illness to fall back to normal.

Jargon buster

  • Enclosed public places – Indoor places where people meet, like cafes and bars
  • Going cold turkey – When you stop something suddenly
  • Nicotine – A chemical in cigarettes
  • Nicotine replacement therapy – Patches or inhalers that contain nicotine
  • Addictive – Something that your body starts to rely on

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