For many years now, research has conclusively been showing that smoking cigarettes is not only a danger to your health but a threat to life itself. We know that in Glasgow and other cities, smoking is very commonplace and those who want to quit don’t know where to start or where to go. We are here to show you the way.
Firstly, it’s important to get the facts around smoking. We may think we know the risks associated with smoking but we often underestimate just how addictive the habit can be. Did you know that tobacco is an addiction just like other addictions? Often, smoking is not seen as being as serious an addiction as heroin or cocaine. However, if we don’t fully comprehend the level of addiction that smoking can be, then it is easy to underestimate the influence it has on your life and can be difficult to break free of the addictive cycle and lifestyle. An article in a recent medical journal pointed out that when a heroin addict injects themselves with his drug of choice the heroin reaches the user’s brain in around 20 seconds. However when a smoker inhales tobacco smoke, the nicotine reaches the brain in 15 seconds, this shows that smoking is a powerful addiction and one that will only be broken when the user is aware of the depth of the problem.
For those who have been regular smokers for years, it can be hard to imagine what it is like to live smoke free. The NHS Quit Smoking service put together the below timeline to help you contextualise your journey to being smoke free;
- 20 minutes after the last cigarette is smoked, the pulse rate normalises.
- 8 hours later, nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in the blood reduce by upwards of 50% and oxygen levels normalise
- 48 hours later carbon monoxide will be gone from the body and the lungs will begin to clear out mucus and the various toxins connected to smoking.
- 72 hours later, breathing will start to become easier as the bronchial tubes begin to relax and as energy levels go up.
- By 2 to 12 weeks later, circulation will be improving.
- 3 to 9 months later, coughs, wheezing and breathing problems improve as lung function increases by up to 10%.
- 1 year later, the risk of heart attack is down to that of 50% of the risk faced by a habitual smoker.
- 10 years later, the lung cancer risk is down to half that of a fully addicted regular smoker.
Smoking & its Damaging Effect on DNA
A Recent article published in the journal Science, describes a study carried out by a international group of scientists coming from The Sanger Institute in Cambridgeshire and the Los Alamos national Laboratory in New Mexico USA. This study demonstrated that cigarette smoking leaves a ‘definite record of the hundreds of DNA mutations caused by cigarette smoking’.
Against the background of 35,000 deaths per year from lung cancer in the U.K, out of which, nine of every ten deaths could be prevented, the researchers found that smoking leaves a definite record of the hundreds of DNA which smoking damages. After having sequenced thousands of tumour genomes, the researchers concluded that a twenty a day smoker would rack up an average of 150 mutation in every lung cell each year. Of these significant lung cell mutations it was found that on average:
- 97 were likely to affect the larynx
- 23 the mouth
- 18 the bladder
- 6 the liver
Cut the Damage, Cut the Smoking
These findings give us some idea of where cancers are most likely to develop in smokers. Dr. David Gilligan, Consultant oncologist at Papworth hospital said that “For every 150 mutations in the cell per year, that is 150 opportunities for cancer to develop.” This study has concluded that “Cigarette smoke is a poisonous mixture of substances, including ammonia, the bleach in toilet cleaners, acetone the chemical in nail polish remover, benzene as found in paint stripper, as well as hydrogen cyanide used in rat poison.”
The joint leader of this research team was Professor Sir Mike Stratton of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute who commented that ‘The more mutations there are, the higher the chance that these will occur in key genes that we call cancer genes, which convert a normal cell into a cancer cell.”
Now you have all the facts, it’s time to take the next step towards a smoke free life. Our Hypnotherapy sessions have helped many people in Glasgow and across Scotland to quit smoking and to increase their chances of better long term health. We offer one-on-one and group quit smoking sessions either at our Glasgow centre or at your workplace. To find out more about our stop smoking sessions, visit our services page or Get in Touch with us to start your journey today.