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Myths About Smoking

Are there any benefits to smoking?

It has been argued that smoking does have some benefits. The most common benefits that people believe are that smoking is good for stress relief, weight control and increased concentration.

Smoking helps me relieve stress

One of the most common reasons people give for continuing to smoke or for going back to smoking after stopping is to relieve stress. The reality is that smokers tend to report higher levels of stress than non-smokers. After stopping smoking the level of stress in former smokers drops significantly.

When you stop smoking it may feel like you are more stressed as a result of not smoking. For the first few weeks, you are likely to experience mood swings and be irritable. The nicotine in cigarettes is highly addictive and these are withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are likely to last up to four weeks and you can help manage these by using laser therapy.

Smoking helps me stay thin

On average, smokers do weigh less than non-smokers. When you stop smoking the typical weight gain is around 2-3kg. The nicotine from smoking acts as an appetite suppressant and smoking also increases the rate at which your body burns calories. 

Smokers will often replace cigarettes with snacking when they stop smoking. People often believe that smoking will help them control their weight and be healthier. However, the risks of continuing to some far outweigh those from minor weight gain.

Is cutting down a good idea?

Many people believe that cutting down is a good way to reduce the health risks of smoking. This might include smoking fewer cigarettes, switching to lower strength brands or switching to alternatives to cigarettes such as cigars or pipe smoking. There is evidence to show that when people smoke fewer cigarettes, they tend to smoke them harder to compensate for this thus there is no real health benefit.

There is no evidence that merely cutting down as a strategy to stop makes a quit attempt more likely to succeed. The only way to really reduce the risks of smoking is to stop completely.

Just one won't hurt

It is very easy to get tempted into having just one cigarette once you have stopped. DON’T DO IT! This is one of the easiest ways to get back into smoking. If you really are desperate for ‘just one’ you should consider avoiding the places and situations where you find temptation. It may also help to call the Anne Penman Helpline and talk to one of our technicians who will give you the advice to help deal with the temptations.

What if I get addicted to Anne Penman Therapy?

There is no evidence to suggest you could become addicted to Laser Therapy. There are no drugs or addictive chemicals involved in the programme.

My Gran is 90 years old and smoked all her life

There is always the story about the 90-year-old whose secret to a long life is 20 cigarettes a day and a tot of brandy before bed. Chances are that their long life has absolutely nothing to do with smoking. The fact is that half of all smokers will die as a result of smoking. Of the other half, some might live to old age. However, you are far more likely to live longer if you don’t smoke. Even if you are lucky enough to escape fatal illness, smoking still increases signs of aging, the chance of impotence and blindness and a whole range of nasty ailments that could make your golden years very unpleasant.

It can't hurt me now, I'm only young

The younger you stop smoking, the more chance you have to benefit later. After stopping smoking, it can take 15 years to totally reduce your risk of a heart attack to that of a non-smoker so the sooner you stop, the more likely you are of reclaiming benefits over time. For a list of all the benefits of stopping over time see our benefits of stopping page.

Roll-ups, Cigars and Pipes are OK?

Some people think that changing to a roll-up cigarette can help them to stop smoking, or reduce the harmful effects of smoking. Evidence suggests that smoking roll-ups are actually more dangerous. Roll-ups burn at a higher temperature than manufactured cigarettes. They also go out more, requiring re-lighting.

These factors mean that you are getting higher doses of harmful smoke each time you inhale. Major studies of pipe and cigar smokers have shown that cigar smokers have double the risk of lung cancer than non-smokers Pipe smokers are eight times more likely to get lung cancer than non-smokers. Whichever way you smoke your risk of fatal disease is significantly higher than that of a non-smoker.

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