NO-SMOKING2ACCORDING to a report from the Ministry of Defence, one-in-three Armed Forces members smoke. To combat this high figure, Service personnel and their families are being urged to get involved in No Smoking Day on March 11.

A new survey by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) ahead of No Smoking Day has found that two-thirds of smokers in the UK have argued with a loved one about their habit and more than one-in-four (28 per cent) admit that a relationship with a loved one has ended in part, or because, of their smoking.

Smokers are most likely to argue about loved one about the risks to their health (50 per cent), followed by the financial cost (45 per cent) and the smell (32 per cent).

It’s no surprise that smoking can put a strain on a relationship. A smoker with a 20-a-day habit will spend an average of £255 a month on cigarettes.

While smokers list the de-stressing effect of lighting up as the number one reason they smoke, nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of male smokers and more than half (55 per cent) of women smokers admit that their relationship with their partner or spouse has been affected by smoking.

One-in-five women admit to lying to their partner about smoking, while the same number of men (21 per cent) admit that smoking has negatively affected their sex life.

Dr Mike Knapton, BHF Associate Medical Director, commented: “Low libido and erectile dysfunction is a common side effect in men who smoke. Smoking can also increase the risk of impotence, damage sperm and reduce sperm count.”

When polled, one-in-five smokers said they would quit smoking if their partner asked them to quit. To help your loved one take the first step towards a smoke-free life, BHF offers these five tips:

  • Understand that quitting isn’t easy. Smoking cigarettes isn’t just a bad habit, it’s an addiction. For many people, it takes more than a few tries to successfully quit.
  • Begin the conversation. For many, talking about quitting smoking isn’t easy. Be supportive and let them know that you’re there to help.
  • Offer distractions. For many smokers, smoking becomes a part of their daily routine. Distract them from cravings by suggesting fun activities like going to a movie or making something new for dinner.
  • Help them de-stress. Quitting smoking can make people feel stressed. Suggest stress-relieving activities, like yoga or taking a bath.
  • Celebrate successes. Staying smoke-free for a day, a week, a year is reason to celebrate. It can be as little as telling them they look great!

One-in-five UK adults smoke, increasing the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and a variety of cancers.

The good news is that stopping smoking is the single best thing you can do for your heart health and the risk to your health decreases significantly soon after stopping.

No Smoking Day is one of the UK’s biggest annual health awareness campaigns. In 2014, BHF helped hundreds of thousands of smokers take the first step on their quitting journey by highlighting the resources and services available to them.

No Smoking Day 2015 will be held on 11 March and will have a “Proud to be a Quitter” theme, which presents quitting as something to be proud of and uses ex-smokers stories to highlight key motivations for quitting.

Find out more at http://nosmokingday.org.uk/ or on Twitter #nosmokingday

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