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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Food Guide > May 2018 > The dangers of smoking and HOW TO QUIT

The dangers of smoking and HOW TO QUIT

A fifth of people in the UK still smoke – putting themselves, their family and friends at risk of serious health conditions. In her new book, HFG expert Dr Dawn Harper shares ways to stub out the bad habit for good

THE BUTT STOPS HERE

ALTHOUGH SMOKING HAS REDUCED IN THE UK since the introduction of the smoking ban in 2007, the habit is still responsible for 96,000 deaths in the UK every year. On average, a lifelong smoker will lose at least 10 years from their life, and is more likely to have a poor quality of life in their later years.

If we want to live a long and healthy life (my new book, Live Well to 101, shows how it’s possible), smoking has got to be a no-no. The fact is, about half of all lifelong smokers will die of their habit. My dear grandad was one – he smoked all his life and died aged 63 of lung cancer. Sadly, his father died at the same age of a smoking-related illness. I suspect the fact that I have never smoked has more to do with losing him when I was young than anything else. He was a wonderful grandparent.

Most people know that smoking increases the risk of developing lung cancer, which, sadly, has a poorer prognosis than many other types of cancer. Of men diagnosed with lung cancer, 30% will survive a year; women fare only slightly better at 35%. That means around two-thirds of people with lung cancer die within a year of diagnosis. Smoking is responsible for 80% of deaths from lung cancer. In fact, more than a quarter of all cancer deaths can be linked to smoking. These include cancer of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, bladder, kidney and cervix.

WHERE ARE WE TODAY?

CLOSE TO ONE IN FIVE British adults now smoke (19%), with slightly more men (20%) than women (17%) having the habit – this equates to 9.6 million adults smoking in the UK. It’s true that smoking has more than halved since 1974, when 51% of men and 41% of women were regular smokers, but we have a long way to go, particularly where the young are concerned. Two-thirds of smokers start before the age of 18 and, of those who try it, between a third and a half will become regular smokers. If you have teenage children, it may be an idea to leave the magazine open at this page!

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About Healthy Food Guide

Make bloating a thing of the past with our guide to the real (lesser known) causes - and how to beat them for a flatter tum. We also show you how to look good naked (or on the beach!) with the best methods for all-over toning. Find out how to eat to cut your risk of type 2 diabetes, with the five diets recommended by Diabetes UK and, if you or someone you know is a smoker, Dr Dawn Harper offers practical advice (and some surprising health stats) to help you quit. With over 30 recipes to help you cook light, it's all you need for a healthy start to summer!
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