Smoking rates are higher amongst the LGBT population; it is thought to be around 25% compared to 18% of adult heterosexuals.
Problems with Smoking
- Half of all smokers die from a smoking related condition
- Smoking causes life threatening/limiting conditions such as numerous cancers, emphysema, heart disease and stroke
- Smoking can make prescribed medications less effective.
- HIV positive smokers are also at a higher risk of contracting smoke-related illnesses than HIV negative smokers
- Smoking can affect the circulation making it more difficult to get or maintain an erection.
- Smokers are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression
- Inhaling poisons internally as well as the smoke and chemicals touching the skin externally can lead to wrinkles around the eyes and mouth, stained teeth, stained fingers and bad breath, making smokers look on average 10 years older than their non-smoking counterparts
- It is expensive, as well as the costs of cigarettes/tobacco, lighters, papers and filters smokers have increased premiums for life and house insurance, are washing clothes more often, ruin clothes and furnishings from dropped ash, as well as needing more face creams to try to deal with those premature wrinkles
Why Not Quit?
- It can be a really difficult thing to do, nicotine addiction is described as being more difficult to beat than heroin addiction
- The tobacco companies make it even harder to quit by manipulating the ingredients in the tobacco to make the nicotine even more addictive than it naturally is
- Most nicotine addicts have built up their own list of excuses to not quit, such as ‘I am too stressed’, ‘all my friends smoke’, ‘it is too hard’, ‘I have cut down so it is alright’, ‘my Great Aunt Maud smoked 50 a day and lived to 101 so I will be alright’
- You enjoy it
- Feel healthier and live longer
- Have control
- Smokers who quit report feeling less depressed and anxious after quitting
- Have more money
- Help the environment
- Look and smell better
- It is more social
Support to Quit
- Get support from friends and family
- Set a goal with a treat once you have reached it
- Speak to a Stop Smoking Advisor
- Use something to help you such as Champix or nicotine replacement therapy
- Download the Smokefree app
- The more motivated you are to quit the easier it is
- Some people quit the first time they try, although others may take a few attempts before they quit for good
- If you want to quit never give up trying and to improve your success get some advice and support from The Stop Smoking Service
- For details of how to access support from a Stop Smoking Advisor check out their website for a list of drop-in locations, call to refer yourself to their telephone advisor or contact your GP surgery for an appointment at their stop smoking clinic