Smoking and your health
Smoking is one of the biggest causes of death and illness in the UK, increasing your risk of developing more than fifty serious health conditions including lung cancer and heart disease.
The number of people who smoke is going down all the time but one in five people in the Bradford district still smoke and 6,000 hospital admissions per year are linked to smoking.
Stopping smoking is the single biggest thing you can do to improve your health. Research shows that two thirds of smokers want to quit, and that you're four times more likely to stop smoking with support than by quitting on your own.
Smoking in pregnancy
Protecting your baby from tobacco smoke is one of the best things you can do to give your child a healthy start in life. It can be difficult to stop smoking, but it's never too late to quit.
Every cigarette you smoke harms your unborn baby and can restrict their oxygen supply. As a result, their heart has to beat harder every time you smoke.
Read more about smoking in pregnancy on the NHS website
Smoking around children
Most second hand smoke is invisible and odourless, so no matter how careful you think you're being, people around you still breathe in the harmful poisons.
Opening windows and doors or smoking in another room in the house doesn't protect people. Smoke can linger in the air for 2 to 3 hours after you've finished a cigarette, even with a window open. Even if you limit smoking to one room, the smoke will spread to the rest of the house where people will inhale it.
Passive smoking is especially harmful for children as they have less well-developed airways, lungs and immune systems. Children who live in a household where at least 1 person smokes are more likely to develop:
- chest infections – like pneumonia and bronchitis
- ear infections
- coughs and colds
Children are particularly vulnerable in cars where second hand smoke can reach hazardous levels - even with the windows open. It's against the law to smoke in a private vehicle if there's a young person under 18 present.
Read about the law on smoking in private vehicles on GOV.UK
More help to quit
If you've decided it's time to quit, there's lots of help available to you. You can call our local Stop Smoking helpline on 01274 437700.
Here's more information about stopping smoking and the help available (from NHS Living Well):