Trick or Treat? Smoking Myths Uncovered!

Published at 25 October, 2018.

Smoking Myths: Trick or Treat?

With Halloween just around the corner, today, we’re tackling the biggest smoking myths. So will they be a trick or a treat? Read on to find out!


1.    Occasional smoking won’t harm me.


Every single cigarette you smoke has a detrimental effect on your health. In actual fact, there is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke – even smoking just one cigarette a day can double your risk of dying from heart disease.


2.    Nicotine on its own isn’t harmless

Treat! (Sort of!)

Nicotine is an addictive drug that keeps people smoking, however ,it’s the other chemicals in cigarettes that makes them harmful. Tobacco contains hundreds of chemicals, including nicotine, and the dangers from smoking come from the sticky tar that is produced when these are mixed.


3.    Not that many people die from smoking.


In 2016 in England alone, there were 77,900 deaths that were attributed to smoking.  This represents 16% of all deaths for the whole year, and 33% of deaths from conditions that can be caused by smoking.


4.    Nicotine Replacement Therapy drastically helps you to quit


For those people who want to quit, but can’t seem to do it alone, NRT is the perfect stepping stone. Nicotine is highly addictive and ingesting it through cigarettes is very harmful due to the additional chemicals however when delivered through medicinal nicotine replacement products this harm is drastically reduced. This is because there is no cancer associated with just nicotine alone, along with a minimal risk of heart disease and no respiratory problems.  


5.    Smoking helps to relieve stress.


When people quit smoking, they can feel more stressed, and so reach for a pack of cigarettes to reduce this, however in actual fact, smoking increases stress and anxiety.

While tobacco smoking is often seen as a simple way to get rid of stress, it’s actually the other way around. Often when people stop smoking, they can feel as if their stress levels are spiralling and so reach for a cigarette to help them calm down. This is actually down to the nicotine withdrawal and smoking another cigarette only helps to combat this, rather than alleviate any stress or anxiety. In actual fact, smoking actually increases anxiety levels and studies have shown that stress levels are decreased once a person has stopped smoking.


6.    The damage is already done, so what’s the point?


This is untrue – in actual fact, no matter how old you are, or how long you’ve been smoking, quitting has a drastic effect on your health and wellbeing. Here’s how:

  • After 1 hour: As little as 20-30 minutes after your final cigarette, your heart rate and blood pressure will lower, and circulation could improve.
  • Within 48 hours: All carbon monoxide and most of the nicotine will be out of your body while your ability to taste and smell will have also improved. Your risk of heart attack and heart disease will also begin to decrease as your blood pressure will drop and your oxygen levels will rise.
  • After 3 days: 3 days after quitting, most people will begin to experience nicotine withdrawal, which causes symptoms such as cravings, irritability, headaches and mood swings. However, quitters should also begin to notice breathing is easier.
  • After 1-3 months: A person’s lung function and circulation will begin, and continue, to improve, while withdrawal symptoms will be much less noticeable. In women, after 3 months is when fertility begins to improve.  
  • After 1 year: The risk of heart disease is half that of a smoker.
  • After 5 years: Arteries and blood vessels should now widen, meaning your blood is less likely to clot and cause a stroke.
  • After 15 years: The chances of developing heart disease or pancreatic cancers will now be the same as a non-smoker.
  • After 20 years: After 20 years of not smoking, the risk of dying from smoking related diseases, such as lung cancer or disease, will drop to the same levels as someone who has never smoked before.

For more information, or to sign up to stop smoking services in your local area, give Yorkshire Smokefree a call today! Our advisors are always happy to lend a hand throughout your journey and will offer any support, advice or guidance they can. Call us today on 0800 612 0011 (free from landlines) or 0330 660 1166 (free from most mobiles).

Find us on Facebook Subscribe to us on YouTube Follow us on Twitter