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Stub it out for World No Tobacco Day - 31st May 2017

Published: 25 May 2017

Each year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) marks World No Tobacco Day on 31st May – highlighting the devastating impact that smoking and tobacco use can have on your health.

Here are just some of the reasons to encourage people to ‘stub it out’

Smoking is bad for your health in many ways

Medical research has shown that the negative impact of smoking can affect most of your body. Day-to-day it can cause you to cough, have difficulty breathing, make your skin and nails dull and cause tooth decay.

Over time, it is linked to a number of serious conditions including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) such as emphysema and bronchitis, Cardiovascular Disease, diabetes as well as different types of cancer.

If you smoke, your loved ones’ health could also be at risk. Second-hand smoke is damaging to those around you, especially children; it has been linked to asthma and ear infections and other illnesses in young people that live in a smoking household. 

Tobacco consumption is highly addictive

The reason cigarettes are so addictive is that they contain nicotine, which stimulates the central nervous system. 

Over time, your body gets used to this stimulant, and you need higher doses to feel the effects. This is why many smokers find their habit becoming gradually more serious, and addictive and taking more and more of a toll on their health. 

Smoking is a proven cause of cancer

The link between smoking and certain types of cancer has been scientifically proven. There are over 600 ingredients in a single standard cigarette, and at least 69 of these are chemicals that have been shown to increase the risk of contracting cancer. 

Among the most common types of cancer caused by smoking are lung, throat and mouth. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the USA alone, people who have smoked have a mortality rate three times higher than those that have never smoked. 

It’s not just inhaling cigarette smoke that can cause cancer, either; chewing tobacco, smoking cigars and pipes, and inhaling from hookah pipes have all been shown to increase your chances of getting cancer. 

Get help with quitting this World No Tobacco Day

Even if you feel healthy, smoking could be silently damaging your health – and you’ll only find out when it’s too late. If you’ve already been diagnosed with a disease like cancer and you’re continuing to smoke, it will stop your body from being able to fight back at full capacity.

The good news is that there are plenty of support systems out there to help you stub it out for good. Some people prefer to go cold turkey, and there are self-help books, audio guides and courses that can make this process easier.

Other people prefer nicotine replacement therapy, switching to patches, gum or inhalators, and gradually reducing the strength of the nicotine dose over time until they no longer need their fix.

If you’re unsure how to quit, or you’re struggling to stay on the bandwagon, talk to your doctor or visit the World No Tobacco Day website for free resources.