THIS St Dwynwen’s Day why not ditch the hearts and flowers and give your beloved the gift of a smoke-free life instead.
As a smoker, your habit will endanger the health of those around you and could be a deal breaker in some relationships. Meanwhile research has shown that smoking is a major turn-off for prospective partners, with a survey carried out by oxygen therapy provider Inogen last May finding that 70% of women are put off by those who smoke and 56% would not consider dating a smoker. Of the men that were surveyed 46% said they wouldn’t date a smoker and 65% said they found smoking unattractive.
An earlier survey by the Department of Health carried out in 2012 found that around half of respondents would think twice about starting a relationship with a smoker.
At the time, the relationship website eHarmony.co.uk said 81% of its members said they would not want a heavy smoker as a partner. Meanwhile at Match.com 72% of male members and 73% of female members said they wanted a non-smoking partner.
If your partner agrees that smoking is the ultimate passion killer, here are a few reasons why stubbing out your cigarettes could relight your fire this St Dwynwen’s Day.
An unhealthy habit 😷
There are numerous health risks associated with smoking. Smoking results not only in coughs, colds wheezing and asthma but fatal conditions such as pneumonia, emphysema and lung cancer. Around 84% of deaths from lung cancer and 83% from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are caused by smoking.
Smoking also causes major damage to the heart, increasing the risk of coronary heart disease, heart attack, stroke, peripheral vascular disease and cerebrovascular disease. Nicotine and carbon monoxide from smoking puts a strain on the heart leading to a higher risk of blood clots. Other chemicals in cigarette smoke damage the lining of the coronary arteries and double a smoker’s risk of having a heart attack. Other cancers linked to smoking include head and neck cancer, stomach cancer and kidney cancer.
Second hand smoke 🚬
When you smoke it’s not just your health that is affected. Second hand smoke poses a serious health risk to those around you, particularly children. Research has shown that exposure to second hand smoke raises an infant’s risk of lower respiratory tract infections by around 50%. Meanwhile adult non-smokers have a 20 to 30% of developing lung cancer and a 25 to 35% higher chance of coronary heart disease if they are exposed to second hand smoke.
Smoking in the home 🏠
Did you know that 80% of cigarette smoke is invisible and continues to linger in the home for up to five hours after a cigarette has been extinguished? And because cigarette smoke is made up of particles smaller than household dust it moves easily, spreading its poison from room to room.
Third hand smoke is the tobacco residue left behind after smoking, which builds up and stains surfaces and furnishings. It can be easily ingested by children who put their hands in their mouths after touching contaminated surfaces. Smoking also poses a major fire risk in the home with somebody dying from a fire caused by a cigarette every three days in the UK.
Bad teeth 😬
The nicotine and tar in cigarettes causes smokers’ teeth to become stained yellow or brown and can lead to gum disease and tooth loss. Not surprisingly too, many smokers also suffer from bad breath
Smoking is an expensive habit with 20-a-day smokers forking out around £56 a week and £243 a month on cigarettes. Even those who smoke 10 cigarettes a day face a hefty shopping bill at £120 a month and £1,460 a year. For those addicted to cigarettes, smoking can exacerbate existing financial problems, leading to debt and a lower quality of life.
If you would like to give up smoking NHS Wales’ Help Me Quit service can find the smoking cessation support that will suit you best. Contact them at 0800 085 2219 or click here.
You may find it easier to quit if you have the support of others in the same boat. Our friendly Facebook group Quit Smoking (Wales), provides the opportunity to share your experience of quitting with both smokers and ex-smokers. Join the group here.