Smoking & Heart Disease
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is usually caused by a build-up of fatty deposits on the walls of the arteries around the heart (coronary arteries).
The fatty deposits, called atheroma, are made up of cholesterol and other waste substances.
The build-up of atheroma on the walls of the coronary arteries makes the arteries narrower and restricts the flow of blood to the heart. This process is called atherosclerosis. Your risk of developing atherosclerosis is significantly increased if you smoke.
Smoking & COPD
Smoking is the main cause of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). COPD is the name for a collection of lung diseases including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways disease.
At least 4 out of 5 people who develop the disease are, or have been, smokers. The lining of the airways becomes inflamed and permanently damaged by smoking. This damage cannot be reversed. Around 10-25% of smokers develop COPD.
In Camden and Islington, 9 out of 10 people diagnosed with COPD are smokers or former smokers.
Smoking & Diabetes
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you will need to pay special attention to certain aspects of your lifestyle and health.
Diabetes doesn’t have to stop you from leading the life you want. Nor does it mean you’ll necessarily have other serious health problems in the future. If you do smoke, find support to help you stop. Smoking increases your risk of heart disease and stroke even further.
Smoking & Shisha
The water does not filter out harmful chemicals.
The smoke you inhale from the shisha pipe contains high levels of toxic chemicals that cause cancer. Breathing in the second-hand smoke is also harmful, particularly to children and pregnant women.
The flavourings and sweeteners only disguise the harmful ingredients in tobacco.
Smoking shisha can cause irreversible lung damage and fatal lung diseases like lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It may also lead to losing teeth from gum disease.
The water cools the smoke making it less irritating, but not less harmful.
Because smoke is cooler you may inhale it more deeply into your lungs, along with high levels of carbon monoxide (the stuff that comes out of car exhausts) and other chemicals that cause cancer.
Like cigarettes, shisha tobacco contains nicotine, which is addictive.
Regular shisha smokers can become dependent and have withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit.
Shisha tobacco produces tar.
Most shisha tobacco packaging says 0% tar but this is misleading. When tobacco in any form is heated, it produces tar which can seriously damage your lungs.
Sharing a waterpipe without changing the mouthpiece can make you ill.
You may catch infectious illnesses like oral herpes, colds and flu, and more serious illness like tuberculosis.
It is illegal to smoke inside a shisha bar.
Shisha smoking is covered by the smoking ban. If you smoke in an enclosed public space (for example inside a shisha café), you are breaking the law and you may be fined.
Smoking & Your Pets
Many studies show that secondhand smoking and tobacco exposure increases health risks to your pets and has been associated with:
- Oral cancer and lymphoma in cats: they lick themselves as part of their grooming and because of this they ingest dangerous carcinogens that are absorbed by their fur
- Allergies, nasal cancer and lung cancer in dogs: long nosed dogs have a greater risk of developing nasal cancer while small/medium nose dogs have a greater risk of developing lung cancer.
- Respiratory problems and lung cancer in small furry pets and birds.
- Fish kept in tanks and aquariums can suffer the effects of secondhand smoke as it can introduce toxins into the water in which they live and lead to failure to thrive.
- Amphibians and reptiles are sensitive to airborne toxins. Secondhand smoke from cigars and cigarettes can cause chronic eye, skin, and respiratory disease.
- Your pet is more at risk from passive smoking than humans because they spend more time at home, are usually found close to their owner and are closer to carpets where carcinogenic particles linger.
- Smoke lingers on carpets and curtains which makes animals more susceptible to breathing in deadly toxins.
- If pet owners choose to smoke outside the effect on their pets, although reduced, is not completely eradicated.