You’ve probably heard a few of these
We all know smoking is bad for us, but the following myths let some people do it anyway.
Make sure you don’t fall for them.
“I’m a lifelong smoker so there’s no point giving up now.”
It’s never too late to quit and it doesn’t matter what age you are, you’ll still get healthier.
The health risks drop soon after you quit, and you’re highly likely to live longer as a result.
“Changing to low tar cigarettes is safer.”
Smoking low-tar cigarettes doesn’t help. People who smoke them usually inhale more deeply.
Each cigarette contains around 4,000 chemicals. Smoking affects most of the major organs in the body, and it can also harm the people around you.
“Smoking helps me to stay calm and de-stress.”
Smoking usually causes anxiety, because nicotine is a stimulant. Smokers must constantly top up their nicotine levels — which means smoking only relieves stress briefly.
Overall stress levels are lower in people who don’t smoke.
“Smoking won’t make me ill. I know people that have smoked for years and they’re OK.”
Smoking is one of the biggest causes of death and illness in the UK.
Around 78,000 people die from smoking each year, while many more live with debilitating smoking-related illnesses.
Is it worth the risk?
“I don’t smoke often so it’s not as harmful.”
Even one-to-four cigarettes a day can increase risk of heart disease and lung cancer, compared to non-smokers.
If that’s all you’re smoking, it shouldn’t be too hard to give up.
Key sources and further reading
Hackshaw A, Morris J K, Boniface S, Tang J, MilenkoviÄ‡ D. Low cigarette consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: meta-analysis of 141 cohort studies in 55 study reports BMJ 2018; 360 :j5855 doi:10.1136/bmj.j5855