Smoking and its Health Implications
smoke has over 4000 chemicals in it including arsenic, hydrogen cyanide,
benzene, ammonia and formaldehyde. After
smoking a cigarette,
these chemicals immediately increase the heart rate and blood
Smoking contributes significantly towards heart disease,
lung and other cancers, chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Smoking
linked to complications in diabetes, osteoporosis, impotency,
infertility, strokes and other conditions.
120,000 people die prematurely from smoking related disease each
year in the UK. This is equivalent to 330 deaths per day or one
Jumbo plane load crashing each day!
The incidence of heart disease and diabetes is significantly higher
amongst South Asians. According to the report: "Health Survey
for England: The Health of Minority Ethnic Groups" and information
from the British Heart Foundation.
||Pakistanis and Bangladeshis of
both sexes are more than 5 times as likely as the general population
to have diabetes and Indian men and women are almost 3 times as
||Asian women have a 51% and men
a 46% higher chance of dying prematurely from a coronary heart
||Pakistani and Bangladeshi men
have rates of heart disease about 60-70% higher than men in the
||Indian men have higher rates
of stroke than in the general population.
Chewing tobacco has a serious affect on the mouth, throat and stomach. Mouth,
throat and stomach cancers can be caused by chewing tobacco. Chewing paan (betel
leaf) with tobacco, common in some South Asian communities, causes cancers, dental
problems and mouth ulcers.
Is it difficult to quit?
Most smokers want to stop smoking. This can improve
their health and they can live longer. It is not easy quitting as
holds the smoker ‘prisoner’. However, more than
11 million people in the UK have successfully quit smoking.
is no quick
and easy way
Ten steps to quit smoking
MAKE A DATE - Stick to your date. Most people who successfully
quit smoking do so by stopping altogether, and not by gradually cutting
KEEP BUSY – It will help take your mind off cigarettes.
Throw away all your ashtrays, lighters, and unopened cigarette
DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS - Keep a glass of water or juice by you and
sip it steadily. Try different flavours.
GET MORE ACTIVE - Walk instead of using the bus or car. Try the stairs
instead of the lift. Exercise helps you relax and can boost your morale.
THINK POSITIVE AND MANAGE YOUR WITHDRAWAL
SYMPTOMS - Withdrawal can
be unpleasant but it is a sign your body is recovering from the effects
of tobacco. Irritability, urges to smoke and poor concentration are
common - don't worry, they usually disappear after a couple of weeks.
However, you can use Nicotine replacement therapy (patches, gum etc.)
or Zyban to manage your withdrawal symptoms. Phone 0800 169 0169 or
0800 00 22 88 and ask for your local free stop smoking service or
see your GP.
CHANGE YOUR ROUTINE - Try to avoid the shop where you usually buy
cigarettes. Perhaps you should avoid the canteen at work if
there are lots of smokers around you. Try doing something totally
NO EXCUSES - Don't use a crisis or even good news to be an excuse
for 'just one cigarette' there is no such thing - you will soon
want the next and the next.
TREAT YOURSELF - This is important. If you can, use the money
you are saving by not smoking to buy yourself something special
or small - that you usually would not have.
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU EAT - Try not to snack on fatty or sugary
foods. If you do need to snack try fruit, raw vegetables, or
TAKE ONE DAY AT A TIME - Each day without a cigarette is good
news for your health, your family - and your pocket. If you
do not succeed
this time try, try and try again! Each attempt increases your
chances of quitting successfully.
For further information and smoking
statistics see the Asian Quitline Factsheet.