Why quit smoking?

There are many reasons why it's a good idea to stop smoking:

  • To be healthier and fitter.
  • The effect your smoking has on the people around you - family and friends.
  • The financial cost of smoking

Whatever your reason, think carefully about your motivation. During the tough times, remind yourself why you're doing it.

Know what smoking does to you

Smoking affects the whole body from your head to your toes.  We all know about lung cancer, but what else can smoking lead to in your body?


  • dull, foul smelling hair
  • hair loss
  • loss of hearing
  • glue ear
  • eye irritation
  • cataracts
  • blindness
  • loss of sense of smell.


Narrowed arteries supplying the brain with oxygen rich blood means an increased risk of stroke. This can result in possible paralysis and loss of speech. Reduced supply of oxygen to the brain can also result in headaches, mood changes and panic attacks.

Mouth and Throat

  • gum disease and tooth loss
  • tobacco- stained teeth
  • foul-smelling breath
  • diminished sense of taste
  • plaque and gum disease
  • sore throat
  • cancer of lips, tongue, throat, larynx and oesophagus.


  • bronchitis
  • emphysema
  • pneumonia
  • coughs and colds
  • wheezing
  • shortness of breath
  • asthma
  • tar deposits
  • damaged cilia
  • pleurisy
  • cancer.

25-a-day smokers are 25 times more likely to die from lung cancer than non-smokers. Four out of five of lung cancer deaths are attributed to smoking.


  • narrowed arteries
  • thickened blood
  • aortic aneurysm
  • angina
  • heart attack.

Smokers are more than twice as likely to die from coronary heart disease as non-smokers


Smoking damages the blood vessels in the legs and arms, aiding the atherosclerosis process. This is the narrowing and hardening of arteries which can lead to:

  • peripheral vascular disease
  • gangrene of limbs
  • cold hands and feet
  • cold skin
  • decreased fitness
  • sometimes amputation of the limbs.

The majority of people with peripheral vascular disease, which can result in one or both legs being amputated, are smokers.


  • slow healing skin wounds
  • premature ageing and wrinkling
  • reduced oxygen supply to skin resulting in
    • a grey parched appearance
    • cellulite resulting from excess toxins in body
    • tobacco-stained fingers.


Female smokers are more likely than non-smokers to suffer from osteoporosis (loss of bony tissue resulting in brittle bones that are liable to fracture) before reaching the menopause.


  • stomach ulcers
  • cancers of stomach, kidneys, pancreas and the bladder.

Reproduction system and fertility

  • impotence
  • deformed sperm
  • reduced sperm count and mobility
  • testicular cancer
  • reduced fertility
  • miscarriage
  • low birthweight baby
  • cancer of cervix
  • cot death.

Smoking increases the risk of impotence for men in their 30s and 40s. Smoking also increases the risk of miscarriage low birthweight and other complications. Low birthweight babies are more likely to require life support.

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