According to the latest survey from the ONS, they found that 13.8% of UK adults (people aged 18 and above) regularly smoked cigarettes. This equates to around 9.27million people in the whole population. The UK has one of the lowest percentage of smokers in Europe with only the Netherlands (12%) and Sweden (7%) ranking lower.
However, smoking is known to increase the likelihood of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, COPD and strokes just to name a few. But many people still are unaware of some of the other health effects that aren’t often talked about but can be common among smoking
1. Loss of vision
Although you may not believe it, long-term smoking doesn’t do your eyes any good. Research has actually shown that smoking increases your risk of age-related macular degeneration which is an eye disease which blurs the central vision. This is a leading cause of vision loss among older adults and is believed to affect around 2.4% of the UK population aged over 50.
2. Ectopic pregnancy
This is a complication in a woman’s pregnancy which is life threatening. It occurs when a fertilised egg implants somewhere other than the uterus. This means that the egg can’t survive and it puts the mothers life in extreme danger. Research from the CDC in America has shown that smoking can interfere with women's fertility and does increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy.
3. Erectile dysfunction
Male sexual function can be affected due to smoking. Research has shown that plaque buildup in the arteries caused by tobacco smoke (atherosclerosis) can then obstruct blood flow to the vessels which can cause erectile dysfunction in men.
4. Rheumatoid Arthritis
The chronic inflammatory disease which causes painful swelling which can lead to bone loss and joint deformity can be exacerbated and even caused by smoking. Among individuals who develop the disease at an early age, smoking has been identified as one of the main causes.
Ways To Quit Smoking
Quitting smoking is an important step to ensuring health and wellness. Here are some ways you can quit and resist cravings:
Although most people go cold turkey when trying to quit smoking and don’t seek any outside help or support, only around 5-7% of people who opt for this end up being successful.
Behavioural therapy involves talking to a counsellor who will be able to find out more about when you smoke and what usually triggers the urge to smoke. Brief sessions, as short as 5 minutes, may even be helpful. You’ll receive guidance or some form of plan to implement which will help you on your journey to quitting.
This is commonly used in the form of nicotine patches, gum and mouthsprays. These kinds of products are designed to help you overcome intense cravings so that eventually you are able to fully quit. This process to stop smoking can usually take up to eight to 12 weeks.
Why not try these top seller products:
- Nicorette Invisi 25 mg Patch
- Nicorette® Freshmint 2mg Gum Nicotine
- Nicorette Quickmist Mouthspray, Freshmint Nicotine Mouthspray
Exercise can be used as a distraction technique for people when they feel a craving or an urge to smoke. This works by diverting the brain's attention away from the craving and instead on to some form of physical activity which makes you forget. It can be as simple as going for a walk or maybe even a run.
The bottom line is that smoking does no good for overall health and it’s important that people are made aware of some of the other types of health problems it can cause besides the more widely known ones.
If you need help with any form of drug addiction, including nicotine addiction from cigarettes, please visit the NHS help page here.