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Smoking causes more illnesses and early deaths than anything else does. At one time it was almost exclusively thought to cause lung cancer or lung disease, now it is known to cause many heart problems, it is linked with infertility and impotence, it can give rise to risks during pregnancy causing a miscarriage or retarded growth of the baby.

Studies have shown strong links between adults who smoke near children and cot deaths, childhood asthma, chest infections, Glue ear, and children becoming smokers themselves.

Smoking has also been linked as one of the causes of bladder cancer, gastric ulcers and some of the inflammatory bowel diseases. It is also a strong factor in causing cancers of the mouth and throat.

Smoking causes irreversible damage to the blood vessels, causing a hardening and narrowing. When this happens in the lower limbs it can actually decrease the blood supply to the muscles dramatically causing ischaemia and death of the tissue. This can eventually lead to the limb having to be surgically removed.

Apart from the cost and the anti-social smells and damage to home furnishings etc. it would be thought that all the above mentioned risk factors would act as a strong deterrent. Unfortunately this is not always the case as the Nicotine part of a cigarette is well known for its addictive qualities.

If you are finding it impossible to give it up then seek the help of professionals, you will not be chastised only respected and helped for wanting to quit.

The N.H.S. offers help to smokers who want to quit by having help lines and you can even get a weeklong course of nicotine replacement therapy free of charge if you cannot afford it.

Smoking costs the N.H.S. millions of pounds a year in trying to treat people with conditions related to or caused by smoking. It is money that would be better used in fighting disease that is not self-inflicted.

If you are determined to quit but need that extra bit of help or support then contact the Quit line on 0800 002200 in (England), 0800 848484 (Scotland), 0800 697500 (Wales), and 0800 663281 (N. Ireland)

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