What is smoking?

Smoking in this context refers to Tobacco cigarettes. Cigarettes are made from the leaves of the tobacco plant and contains many different chemicals, including nicotine. This is the one that gives smokers their ‘hit’ but is also highly addictive. This means it can be hard to quit smoking even if you want to.

Regular smokers believe that smoking tobacco helps them to relax, to handle stress and to feel less hungry.

But smoking can make your clothes and breath smell and can affect your skin and hair.

The effects of smoking

Their are many effects of smoking some believe that smoking tobacco helps them to relax, to handle stress and to feel less hungry.

However, tobacco smoke (tar) contains chemicals that have dangerous effects on various parts of the human body, including the brain, lungs, heart and mouth. Most of the cancers associated with smoking are due to the tar in the smoke.

The risks of smoking

Aside from the damage smoking does to your wallet and long term health smoking carries a lot of other risks. Further information below from Talk to Frank.

Smoking can increase your blood pressure and the heart rate, which can damage the heart and circulation and contribute to heart attacks, strokes and cause cancer. Also:

  • Smokers are more likely to get coughs and chest infections.
  • Long-term use could leave you with cancer, emphysema or heart disease.
  • Smoking when pregnant can harm the foetus and can even cause a miscarriage.
  • It’s not uncommon for babies born to mothers who have smoked during pregnancy to have a lower than normal birth weight, which, some have linked to autism and sudden infant death syndrome.
  • Smoking has been linked to the amputation of 2,000 limbs a year.
  • It’s estimated smoking contributes to 100,000 premature deaths in the UK every year.
  • Other people breathing in your smoke could end up with breathing difficulties, asthma or even cancer.
  • Smoking Shisha can be more dangerous than smoking a cigarettes, with users at increased risk of picking up diseases such as herpes or tuberculosis from sharing pipes.

What are E-cigarettes?

Electronic cigarettes are not actually cigarettes, they allow people to breathe in nicotine vapour, using an e-cigarette is not smoking. Nicotine is the part of a cigarette that is addictive so people who use e-cigarettes can become addicted to using them but they are not known to be harmful. Many smokers can use e-cigarettes to stop smoking, but people who do not smoke should not use e-cigarettes.

The Law

It’s illegal for shopkeepers to sell tobacco or tobacco products including e-cigarettes to anyone under 18.
Cigarettes must be sold in plain packaging and it is illegal to sell single cigarettes to anyone, adult or child.
It is now illegal to smoke in a car carrying one or more passengers under the age of 18. Cars are very confined spaces and the effects of second hand smoke are felt very heavily by passengers, even if the windows are down. This law protects young people from the harm of second hand smoke. If a person smokes in car where there is a passenger under the age of 18 the person smoking (if they are over 18) and the driver can be fined.

More information can be found here

Self-care and management tips?

The younger you start smoking, the more damage your body will suffer when you get older. Here are seven reasons to quit and eight ways to help you do it.

Try this calculator to work out how much you could save by quitting smoking.

If you decide to stop smoking you should speak to someone you trust to get their support, this could be a friend, family member, teacher or school nurse.

It is better to stop straight away than to leave it for another month. Things like nicotine patches or gums can help to fight the addiction and can be bought from most pharmacies but do not use them without talking to a pharmacist first to make sure you are old enough and can use them properly.

Who can help you Quit?

There is a young people’s stop smoking team that works in certain secondary schools in North Lincolnshire. The schools they work with are:

• Baysgarth
• Fred Gough
• Huntcliff
• The Axholme Academy
• South Axholme Academy
• Outwood Academy Foxhills
Alternatively, if you do not attend one of these schools your school nurses or GP can help support you to quit.

If you are aged 16+ you can get professional support to quit smoking from the local stop smoking service. Smokefree Life North Lincolnshire provides excellent flexible support, free of charge, through one to one appointment or by telephone, 01724 642014.