What should you know about smoking?

It has long been recognised that smoking poses serious risks to health – both to the smoker and to others exposed to the smoke for prolonged periods. These risks include:

  • cancer (lung, mouth, lip, throat, larynx, oesophagus, bladder, kidney, liver, stomach, pancreas)
  • heart disease
  • heart attack
  • vascular disease (including to the brain)
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including bronchitis and emphysema 
  • pneumonia

Smoking can also worsen or prolong the symptoms of respiratory conditions such as asthma or infections such as the common cold.

It can also cause impotence in men and reduce the fertility of both men and women.

Pregnant women who smoke run the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, a low birth weight baby or stillbirth.


The good news is that your health starts to improve from the moment you give up smoking.

Some of the main ways that ex-smokers can benefit are:

  • breathing more easily and coughing less - lung capacity improves by up to 10 per cent within nine months.
  • having more energy - within two to 12 weeks of stopping smoking your blood circulation improves. This makes all physical activity, including walking and running, much easier.
  • feeling less stressed - scientific studies show people's stress levels are lower after they stop smoking.
  • improving your sex life - stopping smoking improves the body's blood flow so improves sensitivity.
  • improving your fertility - non-smokers find it easier to get pregnant. Quitting smoking improves the lining of the womb and can make men's sperm more potent.
  • improving your sense of smell and taste - you may notice that food tastes and smells different as your mouth and nose recover from being dulled by the hundreds of toxic chemicals found in cigarettes.
  • having younger-looking skin - stopping smoking has been found to slow facial ageing and delay the appearance of wrinkles. The skin of a non-smoker gets more nutrients, including oxygen, and stopping smoking can reverse the sallow, lined complexion smokers often have.
  • having whiter teeth and sweeter breath - giving up tobacco stops teeth becoming stained, and you'll have fresher breath. Ex-smokers are also less likely than smokers
    to get gum disease and lose their teeth prematurely.
  • living longer- half of all long-term smokers die early from smoking-related diseases, including heart disease, lung cancer and chronic bronchitis. Men who quit smoking by the age of 30 add 10 years to their life. People who kick the habit at 60 add three years to their life.
  • smoke-free homes protects your loved ones - breathing in second-hand smoke increases the risk of lung cancer, heart disease and stroke. In children it doubles the risk of getting chest illnesses, including pneumonia, ear infections, wheezing and asthma. They also have three times the risk of getting lung cancer in later life compared with children who live with non-smokers.

Want to quit smoking? Smokefree Hampshire is your free and confidential local stop smoking service.

Our team can offer a range of free support options to help you quit.

Choose from one to one appointments locally, or telephone support.

We can also arrange stop smoking medications, supply NRT, or we can offer a vaping voucher scheme if you're ready to make the switch to an e-cigarette.

Call 01264 563039, visit our website: www.smokefreehampshire.co.uk or text QUIT to 66777

 Just imagine your future without cigarettes – feeling fantastic and having that extra money in your pocket. Stopping smoking can make a drastic improvement to your lifestyle and health in ways you might not expect. What’s more – your body will see instant health benefits as soon as you give up smoking, as well as benefitting from long term health improvement. We’re here to offer our free, expert support; so contact us today to start your smoke-free journey!

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