Thursday, October 25, 2012

Smoking and health advice

About the author: Jen Jones writes on topics including medical insurance abroad and workplace wellbeing, on a selection of UK blogs and websites.

While we all know by now - or at the very least should have a very strong inkling - that smoking is bad for us, it doesn't mean that the health advice is going to stop.

In fact, as long as there are smokers around, expect to see the same warnings pop up every time you read about smoking,

  • it's bad for your gums
  • it increases heart disease risk
  • it increases the risk for various forms of cancer
  • it makes your breath smell
  • it increases your chances of having a smoke
... and so forth.

And if you're ever in a dentist or doctor's surgery you may well get advice on certain health problems. And in a lot of cases one of the things you'll be advised to do - if you haven't already done - is avoid smoking. In fact a dentist will tell you that after an extraction you can't smoke at all for a number of days.

The advice - not really surprising - is to quit smoking completely, either by going cold turkey or by using one of the various types of nicotine replacement therapy that are available: these include patches, sprays, gum, inhalers, and so on.

But some new advice is now being dispensed, which is aimed at those who are finding it harder to quit. According to a BBC Health news report that appeared this week, smoking rates - while having dropped a lot between the 1950s and the year 2000 - have hovered around the same level (20%) for the last decade or so. And the new guidelines encourage smokes who are finding it hard to stop smoking to inhale less and cut down.

The NHS choices site advises that cutting out smoking is of course still the best way to go about being healthy - and it seems that that the new guidelines from NICE are aimed at helping the 'highly dependent' at least make some headway in consuming less.

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