Most people believe that smoking reduces stress levels but new research indicates that the opposite could be true; smoking probably causes anxiety - while quitting relieves it.
British researchers at Oxford University and King’s College London measured anxiety levels in 633 smokers. All were participating in the NHS smoking cessation programme. After 6 months only 68 were still abstaining but they experienced a 9 point decrease in anxiety levels, while those who abstained briefly before starting to smoke again experienced a 3 point increase in anxiety levels.
OTHER DANGERS OF SMOKING
Smoking directly causes over 100,000 deaths in the UK each year. Of these, about 42,800 are from smoking-related cancers, 30,600 from cardiovascular disease and 29,100 die slowly from emphysema and other chronic lung diseases.
Cigarettes contain more than 4000 chemical compounds and at least 400 toxic substances.
Major diseases caused by smoking
Cardiovascular disease is the main cause of death due to smoking.
Hardening and narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis) is accelerated by smoking and makes lethal blood clots two to four times more likely.
Smokers are more likely to get cancer than non-smokers, particularly lung, throat and mouth cancer which hardly ever affect non-smokers. 90% of lung cancer cases are due to smoking.
Other types of cancer that are more common in smokers are:
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a collective term for a group of conditions that block airflow and make breathing more difficult, such as:
Emphysema – breathlessness caused by damage to the air sacs (alveoli)
Chronic Bronchitis – coughing with a lot of mucus that continues for at least three months.
Smoking is the most common cause of COPD and is responsible for 80 per cent of cases. The final stage is death from slow and progressive breathlessness.
Other risks caused by smoking
Smoking and others
Babies born to mothers who smoke during pregnancy are twice as likely to be born prematurely and with a low birth weight.
So – if you are a smoker, you really need to consider giving up!!