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 • How much smoking costs
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) • 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 Some examples: Stroke Depression 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 • 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 • 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 • 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.
Appearance • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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? • 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? • 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…. “I must stop smoking and remember to wear my pyjamas in bed”