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“Share If You Or Someone You Know Wants To Give Up Smoking To Improve Their Health”
Around 100,000 people die in the UK alone each year due to smoking. This is an incredible fact when you juxtapose this number with the total number of deaths caused by cancer each year which totals to around 157,000.
There are a number of ways a smoker can meet their untimely death however 5 of the most common reasons are caused by the following:
- Lung Cancer – Lung cancer single handily claims the lives of 30,000 people in the UK, with 8 out of 10 of these being directly linked to smoking. Taking into consideration the total of people that die in the UK due to smoking, lung cancer is responsible for nearly a third of all fatalities.
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – COPD is a serious lung disease that kills around 25,000 people a year in the UK. Out of the 25,000, 8 out of 10 are smoking related meaning around 20,000 people die from smoking alone.
- Heart Disease – Heart Disease is the biggest killer illness in the UK claiming a colossal 120,000 people in the UK. Around 1 in 6 of these deaths is due to smoking meaning 20,000 people die from Heart disease due to their smoking habit.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis – Research has shown smoking is known to be a risk factor for developing rheumatoid arthritis. Of this research one study estimated that about 1 in 5 cases of rheumatoid arthritis is caused due to smoking.
- Other Cancers – Although lung cancer is the most common type of cancer caused by smoking, it can also be responsible for mouth, nose, throat, larynx, gullet (oesophagus), pancreas, bladder, cervix, blood (leukaemia) and kidney cancer too.
Looking above it is incredible that anyone who has been educated on the effects that smoking has, and the diseases and illnesses it can cause, continues or starts to smoke. But why does smoking have such a detrimental and destructive effect on the human body? Having a look at the top 5 harmful chemicals found in cigarettes its clear to see why:
- Cyanide – Just seeing this word alone should start ringing alarm bells. Cyanide was used by the Nazi’s in the Holocaust during World War 2 (in the form of hydrogen cyanide). It is one of the most deadliest poisons known to man.
- Arsenic – Arsenic is commonly used in traps to kill rodents by dehydration. It is highly poisonous to humans with common symptoms including diarrhea, vomiting, blood in urine, hair loss and convulsions.
- DDT – DDT is a well known synthetic pesticide. Although the NTP (United States National Toxicology Program) has labelled the chemical “moderately toxic” and the WHO (World Health Organisation) “moderately hazardous” a number of varying studies have linked DDT to diabetes. Also it seems the chemical, if exposed to a pregnant woman, can lead to the child having development problems and decreased cognitive skills.
- Carbon Monoxide – Killing by asphyxiation, carbon monoxide replaces oxygen in the blood stream with CO molecules. Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause headaches and confusion. More severe cases can lead to toxicity of the central nervous system and the heart.
- Formaldehyde – Ironically formaldehyde is commonly used to preserve dead tissue. Formaldehyde poisoning can lead to hypotension, arrhythmia, breathing and respiratory complications and can even leave you in a coma in the most severe cases.
However it’s not all bad news, if you are a smoker who wishes to quit you can still regain your health. The following timeline shows the health benefits of quitting:
- After 72 hours breathing becomes easier. Bronchial tubes begin to relax and energy levels increase.
- After 1 month the skin appearance improves, owing to improved skin perfusion.
- After 3-9 months coughing, wheezing and general breathing problems improve and lung function increases by up to 10%.
- After 1 year the risk of heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker.
- After 10 years the chance of getting lung cancer falls to around half of that of a smoker.
- After 15 years the risk of having a heart attack falls to the same level as for someone who has never smoked in their life.
Other none health benefits of quitting smoking include improved finances, improved sense of taste and smell and the smell of tobacco goes from your clothes breath face and hair.