Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Why Smoke - it's a one way road?

I would urged smokers to take the first step towards kicking the habit on No Smoking Day 2010, taking place to day, Wednesday, March 10. Begin in a positive mood and tell yourself – I can give up smoking."

This year’s theme of ‘Break free - we can help’ offers a positive message to those thinking about taking a stand against this all too common addiction.

With approximately 2,300 people dying each year, smoking is the greatest cause of preventable illness and premature death in Northern Ireland. This is an issue that, unfortunately, will afflict many families.

While helping people to quit is vital, we also need to ensure that the young people within our community aren’t sucked into this dangerous habit. I often wonder do smokers not realize that when you are standing or sitting near them they is often a stale cigarette smoke smell lingers on their clothing and breath.

This goes far beyond expense, bad teeth and affecting your senses of smell and taste – there is a shocking array of medical implications to boot.

While a commonly known consequence of smoking is lung cancer, it also contributes to a frightening variety of other illnesses, including cancers of the stomach, cervix, kidney, and pancreas. Anyone who has watched and cared for a relation or friend die from any of the mentioned cancers would not wish the harrowing process on their worst enemy, so my question is – why smoke?

For those who still have no desire to quit for the sake of their own health, it might be worth considering that the World Health Organisation has estimated that passive smoking kills nearly 600,000 people each year across the globe.

While surveys have shown that the majority of smokers would like to give up, the addictive nature of nicotine can make it difficult. The key is to seek help, be it at your GP surgery, pharmacy or community centre.

Take the first step to day - it won't be easy but and this is a big BUT, you and you alone can make your health – and the health of those around you – top of your agenda.”