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SMOKING CESSATION IN THE ARMED FORCES Annie Owen Armed Forces Smoking Cessation Co-ordinator Reasons not to smoke By the end of this presentation you will have some knowledge of: What is in a cigarette The risks to your health The implications on military effectiveness

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smoking cessation in the armed forces

Annie Owen

Armed Forces Smoking Cessation Co-ordinator

reasons not to smoke
Reasons not to smoke

By the end of this presentation you will have some knowledge of:

  • What is in a cigarette
  • The risks to your health
  • The implications on military effectiveness
  • How much smoking costs
some facts
Some Facts
  • Smoking is the greatest cause of disability, preventable illness and early death in UK.
  • 50% of regular smokers will be killed by their habit.
  • Half of these will die in middle age – losing about 10 years of life.
  • In UK smoking kills approximately 114,000 people per year (that is roughly 13 people every hour).

What’s in a Cigarette

  • Tobacco contains around 4000 chemicals
  • 40 of theses are known to cause cancer.
  • A few examples are:
    • TAR: A mixture of over 1000 chemicals including arsenic and cyanide.
    • FORMALDEHYDE: highly poisonous, commonly used to preserve dead bodies.
    • AMMONIA: Found in dry cleaning fluids.
what s in a cigarette 2
What’s in a cigarette (2)
  • CARBON MONOXIDE: exceedingly toxic, found in car fumes, reduces your blood capacity to carry oxygen by 15%.
  • NICOTINE: the addictive agent in cigarettes, BUT it is the other 4000 chemicals that kill.
health risks
Health Risks

Some examples:



Hearing loss

Eye disease

Mouth cancer, tooth & gum disease

Neck pain

Cancer of gullet

Heart disease

Lung disease: cancer, bronchitis, emphysema etc

Back pain

Osteoporosis (females)

Stomach ulcers / cancer

Impotence, infertility (males)

Reduced fertility, miscarriage (females)+ low birth weight babies, still birth, cot death

Ulcers and cancer of the gut

Disease of the blood vessels

Tendon injuries

more health risks
More Health Risks
  • Thickening of blood vessels = high blood pressure and stroke.
  • Increased risk of angina and heart attack.
  • Oral health: bad breath (“like kissing an ash tray”), tooth loss, gum disease and cancer of the mouth.
male smokers
Male Smokers
  • Smoking is the major cause of impotence andlow quality and quantity of sperm.
  • 120,000 men in UK are impotentas a direct result of their smoking.
  • “What Viagra may give, tobacco taketh away”
  • Quitting can help – “If men won’t stop smoking to save their lungs, hearts and lives, maybe they will to save their sex lives.
women smokers
Women Smokers
  • If using the contraceptive pill, have higher risk of heart attack or stroke.
  • Osteoporosis (thinning of the bones) more common in smokers.
  • Twice as likely to develop cervical cancer.
  • Can take longer to conceive, more likely to have miscarriage, premature labour, still birth.
  • Smoking affects blood vessels in the skin.
    • Damages facial colour (complexion looks grey).
    • Wrinkles develop earlier than non-smokers.
    • Smokers often look 10-15 years older than their age.
    • Tar stains fingers and teeth.
passive smoking
Passive Smoking
  • Side-stream smoke from cigarettes is not filtered and contains higher concentrations of harmful substances – therefore more harmful to non-smokers.
  • Passive smoking causesseveral hundred deaths from heart disease and lung cancer every year.
fitness and injury
Fitness and Injury
  • On average, smokers are 1 minute slower on a 2 mile run than non-smokers.
  • Injury rates are higher amongst soldiers who smoke.
  • Smokers are twice as likely to develop wound complications if injured and take longer to recover after surgery.
military effectiveness
Military Effectiveness
  • Difficulty maintaining fitness and strength
  • Reduced endurance capacity
  • Increased risk of injury (early fatigue)
  • Reduced night vision
  • Operational hazard ( a smoker will not only reveal his own position – but also endanger those around him).
the costs of smoking
The Costs of Smoking
  • Smoking 20 cigarettes a day will cost £1600 - £1800 per year.An average smoker will also spend £660 peryear on other products:
  • Cough/throat sweets, mouthwash, mints
  • Extra skin moisturisers (for dry/aged skin)
  • Deodorants/perfumes (to disguise the smell of tobacco smoke)
  • More hair products for dry/brittle hair
  • Dry cleaning bills, air fresheners, home cleaning products, etc etc ….
money up in smoke
Money Up In Smoke
  • Increased life insurance premiums
  • Viagra!
  • Disposable lighters
  • Total annual cost of smoking is about £2500 !!!!!!!!!
  • Enough to pay for: a round the world trip, a designer wardrobe or top season football tickets for you and your mates.
do you want to stop smoking
Do You Want to Stop Smoking?
  • The healthiest, safest, most economical thing is Not To Smoke.
  • If you do not smoke Do Not Be Tempted To Start.
  • If you are a smoker and want to quit – most military establishments now have fully trained advisers to help you.
  • Contact your medical or dental centre for further advice.

Fact : Smoking Kills

got you thinking
Got You Thinking?
  • Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body
  • Smoking will cause a reduced quality of life and life expectancy
  • Smoking is very expensive
  • If you want to quit – help is available.

Contact your medical or dental centre for further advice

finally one other hazard
Finally, one other hazard….

“I must stop smoking and remember to wear my pyjamas in bed”