Although the majority of smokers are well aware of the health repercussions smoking has both on themselves and those around them, there are still a considerable number of people who smoke. In Malta, it is estimated that 25% of the adult population are regular smokers. Quitting is not an easy task, but with commitment and support, they will manage to make the biggest step towards improving their health.
Here are some popular smoking myths debunked.
Low tar cigarettes are safe to smoke – There is no such thing as a safe cigarette. Although low-tar cigarettes can be slightly less damaging to the lungs over a long period of time, people who smoke them have been noticed to take deeper puffs more frequently and smoke the cigarettes to a shorter butt length.
Rollies are safe to smoke – they contain many of the same chemicals as manufactured cigarettes. Research suggests that RYO tobacco is at least as harmful, or possibly more harmful, than smoking factory made cigarettes.
Only old people get ill from smoking – Any tobacco smoker increases the risk of having ill health. All age groups suffer short-term consequences of smoking such as: decreased lung function, shortness of breath, coughing, and rapid tiredness during exercise. The longer you smoke, the greater your risk of developing cancer, heart, lung, and other preventable diseases.
Ceasing to smoke is associated with various benefits:
- Lowered risk for lung cancer and cancers of other organs
- Reduced risk for heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease
- Reduced respiratory system symptoms
- Reduced risk for infertility in women of childbearing age
Quitting tobacco has various benefits for your health and of those around you. Take the first step and seek help. For more information contact the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorate on Tobacco Freephone 80073333.