Ask your Pharmacist
Reasons to give up smoking
Eamonn Brady is a pharmacist and the owner of Whelehans Pharmacy, Pearse St and Clonmore Mullingar. If you have any health questions e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s New Year Resolution time and stopping smoking has more benefits than pretty much any other new year resolution. Nicotine is the most addictive drug known to man (and woman!), giving up is difficult but can be done.
10 reasons to stop smoking
1. Makes hair clothes and breathe stink 2. Nicotine stains your teeth and fingers brown 3. Smoking ages the skin prematurely 4. 20 cigarettes at 12 per pack per day cost you €4368 a year. 5. Smoking makes you 10 times more likely to die from a major heart attack or stroke 6. 9 out of 10 lung cancer deaths are due to smoking 7. Male smokers have a lower sperm count and more abnormal sperm than nonsmokers 8. Female smokers have more trouble getting pregnant than nonsmokers and have a higher rate of miscarriages during pregnancy. 9. Smoking long term can cause "peripheral vascular disease". This condition restricts blood flow to the hands and feet and can cause gangrene and the amputation of limbs. 10. You will be fitter and have greater stamina and energy.
Risks from Smoking
Smoking kills 7000 people annually in Ireland. The British Medical Association (BMA) estimates smoking kills one in ten adults worldwide. By 2030, they estimate this will be one in six. The BMA also states that smoking kills six times more people in the UK than road traffic incidents, poisoning, overdose, murder, manslaughter, suicide and HIV combined.
Health benefits from the moment you stop
The benefits from giving up begin as soon as you stop. After one month your skin will be clearer, brighter and more hydrated. After 3-9 months your breathing will have improved, and you will no longer have a cough or wheeze. Your lung function may have improved by up to 10%. After one year your risk of heart attack and heart disease will fall to about half that of a smoker. After 10 years your risk of lung cancer falls by half. After 15 years your risk of heart attack and heart disease will be the same as someone who never smoked. Research shows that people who quit smoking before the age of 35 have a life expectancy only slightly less than people who have never smoked. Those who quit before they are 50 reduce their risk of dying from a smoking-related disease by 50%.
Signs your body is getting better
There are certain initial unpleasant health effects within the first few weeks of giving up. These will make you feel miserable, but they will pass within a few weeks and are a sign your health is improving. You will probably get a cough or sore throat that gets worse before it gets better. It is caused by your body clearing thick tar and mucus from the lungs and should be cleared in a few weeks. Breathe in steam or sip water. You may develop mouth ulcers and a dry mouth in the first two weeks after giving. This is a sign that the blood supply to the lining of your mouth is improving. You may develop dizziness and headaches because more oxygen is reaching your brain. You may develop tingling in hands and feet which is caused by the increased oxygen supply to the limbs and is a good sign as it shows your body is recovering.
If these facts don’t make you give up then you are truly addicted! More help with giving up next week
For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans, log on to www.whelehans.ie or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore). Find us on Facebook.
This article is shortened to fit within Newspaper space limits. More detailed information and leaflets is available in Whelehans