This blog is especially dedicated to my ex-boss KG who continued to smoke dispite my constant nagging and hiding of her cigarettes.
Maybe you actually can. You like the taste of cigarettes and the feeling it gives you, and you’ve been smoking for years. It’s only a matter of time now before the Health Officials change their minds and tell everyone that smoking actually is good for you – like fats, red wine and coffee – and can they please do it soon so you can smoke indoors next winter!
I’m not going to tell you that smoking is bad for you – you’ve no doubt heard that a million times. I am also not going to tell you that it’s good for you. What I am going to do is put some facts together for you, and you can come to your own conclusion.
Whilst non-smokers are more likely to work continuously without regular breaks to get their eyes off the screen or to stretch their legs and refresh their minds, smokers have a kind of ingrained clock that tells them, ‘you need a smoke’.
Smokers corner is usually a place where you can either have a little chat, or have a few refreshing minutes to yourself. With each inhalation you’re taking a deep breath and breathing out nice and slow…It’s really relaxing when you’re having a stressful day. (Note that deep breathing is also relaxing without a cigarette in hand.)
There are some people that perhaps luckily for the smoker, don’t like smoke in their faces nor the ‘smell of a smoker’. (You can also keep people away by not using deodrant.)
According to the journal Science, nicotine activates a pathway in the brain that suppresses appetite. Also, I guess it’s not so easy to eat when you have a cigarette hanging out of your mouth – and food must surely taste less appetising coated in all the chemicals lining one’s mouth.
When you don’t have air-freshner or perfume handy, a match can mask the stinkiest shit.
According to a ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) report, tobacco smoke contains over 7,000 chemical compounds, present as either gases or as tiny particles. These include carbon monoxide, arsenic, formaldehyde, cyanide, benzene, toluene and acrolein.
Smokers, exposing other people to your smoke is harmful to them. It is estimated that globally 600,000 deaths a year are caused by secondhand smoke. Most of these deaths are among women and children.
It’s hard to believe that smoking was only banned from public places 10 years ago. Before that we all inhaled the cocktail of death many times over, in offices, in supermarkets, restaurants and cafes…and do you remember going to a club and walking out with the smell of smoke clinging to your hair and clothes. Agh that was horrible! But still we went shaking our asses all night long.
According to ASH Report 2016:
• Smoking is the primary cause of preventable illness and death. Every year smoking causes around 96,000 deaths in the UK.
• Smokers under the age of 40 have a five times greater risk of a heart attack than non-smokers
One year after stopping, the risk of a heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker. Within 15 years the risk falls to a level similar to that of a person who has never smoked.
• Smoking causes around 80% of deaths from lung cancer, around 80% of deaths from bronchitis and emphysema, and about 14% of deaths from heart disease.
• More than one quarter of all cancer deaths can be attributed to smoking. These include cancer of the lung, mouth, lip, throat, bladder, kidney, pancreas, stomach, liver and cervix.
• About a half of all life-long smokers will die prematurely.
Now there is a small chance that none of these things will affect you, but do you really want to take that chance? On average, cigarette smokers die 10 years younger than non-smokers. What would you do with 10 extra years of life? Would you like to have 10 extra years of life?
• On average women smokers go through the menopause up to 2 years earlier than non-smokers and are at a greater risk of developing osteoporosis.
• It can affect both your sense of taste and smell. Smokers are more likely to develop facial wrinkles at a younger age and have dental hygiene problems. You can tell most smokers by looking at their skin and their teeth.
• Smoking burns a hole in your pocket.
A 20-a-day smoker of a premium brand will spend about £3600 a year on cigarettes. Just think of the holiday you could go on for that kind of money, or even for half of that!
Smoking costs the National Health Service (NHS) in England approximately £2bn a year for treating diseases caused by smoking.
This includes the costs of hospital admissions, GP consultations and prescriptions. The government also pays for sickness/invalidity benefits, widows’ pensions and other social security benefits for dependants.
Smoking materials remain the main cause of fatal accidental fires in the home, accounting for 59 deaths and 456 casualties in England in 2014/15.
There are also a costs to employers and the environment.
Is the pleasure of smoking worth the risks not only to you but to your family too? Perhaps your husband is an asshole and you think it is worth it. You’re hoping the secondary smoke will kill him before smoking kills you. If you don’t think it’s worth it and you want to stop, you can ask your doctor for more information on Stopping Smoking, or read more here.
Much of the statistics on this blog post were taken from ASH Reports. You can read more on the statistics here, and read more ASH Reports here. You can also get more information on NHS Digital and Cancer Research UK.
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