Stop the rot

Today, Monday 29 December 2014, Public Health England launches a powerful new campaign to highlight how smoking damages the body and causes a slow and steady decline in a process akin to rotting. The campaign launches as a new expert review commissioned by Public Health England highlights the multiple impacts that toxic ingredients in cigarettes can have on your body. Whilst many smokers know that smoking causes cancer and harms the lungs and heart, the new report highlights how it also damages:

  • Bones and muscles – Smoking causes progressive harm to the musculoskeletal system, and has a negative impact on bone mineral density. Harms include:
    • 25% increased risk of any fracture and a 40% increase in the risk of hip fractures among men
    • Slower healing after injury
    • Increased risk of back and neck pain, leading to a 79% increase in chronic back pain and a 114% increase in disabling lower back pain
    • Significant cause of rheumatoid arthritis and can reduce the impact of treatment
  • Brain – Current smokers are 53% more likely to develop cognitive impairment than non-smokers and 59% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease
  • Teeth – Smoking increases the likelihood of tooth loss and decay
  • Eyes – Smoking damages sight by increasing the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by 78%-358% and increasing the risk of age-related cataracts

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