Live A Smoking Free life
Smoking increases the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and a variety of cancers, but it can also have an effect on our relationships and self-confidence. Pride has teamed up with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to help you or a loved one quit smoking.
A new survey by the BHF has found that two-thirds of smokers in the UK have argued with a loved one about their habit. When it comes to smoking, smokers are most likely to argue with loved ones about the risks to their health, followed by the financial cost and the smell.
Smoking can have a negative effect on confidence too. More than half of women smokers worry that their habit make them unattractive to their partner and/or opposite sex, with the negative effects of smoking on their skin, breath, and teeth the most concerning.
Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at the BHF, explains how smoking ages you: “Smoking ages the skin and increases the likelihood of developing wrinkles, but it also ages the entire body. Your eyes, heart and even your hair are affected every time you light up. However, by quitting smoking you can stop or even reverse these signs of aging.”
Nearly two-thirds of male smokers and over half of women smokers admit that their relationship with their partner or spouse has been affected by their smoking. One in five women admits to lying to their partner about smoking, and a similar number of men admit that smoking has negatively affected their sex life.
The good news is that stopping smoking is the single best thing you can do for your heart health, and the risk to your health decreases significantly soon after stopping.
It’s no surprise that smoking can put a financial strain on a relationship.
A smoker with a 20-a-day habit will spend an average of £255 a month on cigarettes.
5 tips to be smoke-free
To help your loved one take the first step towards a smoke-free life, the BHF offers these five tips:
• Understand that quitting isn’t easy. Smoking cigarettes isn’t just a bad habit, it’s an addiction. For many people, it takes more than a few tries to successfully quit.
• Begin the conversation. Talking about quitting smoking isn’t easy for some smokers. Be supportive and let them know that you’re there to help.
• Offer distractions. For many smokers, smoking becomes a part of their daily routine. Distract them from cravings by suggesting fun activities like going to a movie or making something new for dinner.
• Help them de-stress. Quitting smoking can make people feel stressed. Suggest stress-relieving activities, like yoga or taking a bath.
• Celebrate successes. Staying smoke-free for a day, a week, a year is reason to celebrate. It can be as little as telling them they look great!