Wednesday, 7 January 2015

10 Reasons to quit smoking

Did you know that cigarette smoking is the #1 cause of preventable deaths in the US - with one in every five deaths being related to the widespread habit? Living longer is certainly one reason to kick the habit, but here are 10 more reasons to ditch the death sticks for good.

You can – and should – quit smoking

If you smoke and are part of the nearly 70 percent of smokers who want to quit smoking, there are a number of smoking cessation techniques you can use to kick the habit. Experts recommend counseling, nicotine replacement therapy and alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, as well as perseverance. Though only about four to five percent of smokers who to try to quit each year succeed in stopping smoking permanently, with repeated attempts, nearly 40 to 50 percent of smokers eventually succeed in kicking the habit for good. That means you may not quit smoking on your first try but if you persevere, you will succeed.
My Body
  1. Smoking is responsible for 87% of lung cancer cases. It also hurts your heart and your digestive system.
  2. HPV is more persistent in smoker's bodies.
  3. Smokers are 350x more likely to develop macular degeneration... which leads to blindness.

10 Reasons to quit smoking for good

Puffing cigarettes can certainly shorten your life, but it can also hurt your health in many other irreversible ways. Though living longer should be motivation enough to kick the habit, we hope the following health risks will convince you to commit to quit.

Quit smoking reason #1: Reduce your risk of lung cancer

Lung cancer accounts for 26 percent of cancer deaths among women reports the Lung Cancer Alliance. Just 50 years ago, lung cancer accounted for only three percent. Though smoking is not the only cause of lung cancer, it can greatly increase your risk of developing this deadly disease. According to the American Lung Association, smoking is directly responsible for 87 percent of reported lung cancer cases.

Quit smoking reason #2: Protect yourself from HPV

In the book The HPV Vaccine Controversy, author Dr Shobha S Krishnan warns that smoking can make existing HPV infections persist in the body and even cause HPV-related diseases because smoking weakens the immune system.

Quit smoking reason #3: Save your eyesight

Dr Edward Paul, one of the world's leading authorities on macular degeneration, says smoking increases a patient's risk of developing age-related macular degeneration – a leading cause of blindness in Americans 65 years old and older – by a whopping 350 percent.

Quit smoking reason #4: Your heart-health

Smoking increases your risk of developing heart disease and stroke - among other diseases – and the more cigarettes you smoke, the higher your risk. Even reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke per day can help protect your heart. A study inNicotine & Tobacco Research reports that fewer cigarettes can decrease "bad" cholesterol, increase "good" cholesterol, and improve the blood's ability to transport oxygen – meaning you will feel less winded during exertion. Kicking the habit for good delivers even more heart-health benefits.

Quit smoking reason #5: Keep your teeth

A study in BMC Public Health earlier this year indicates that current smokers are significantly more likely to lose their teeth than former smokers or nonsmokers aged 20 to 38 years old. That's too young to be losing teeth! Additionally, the nicotine in cigarettes stain teeth, meaning the teeth you don't lose will stay a dingy shade of yellow.

Quit smoking reason #6: Live longer

Don't you have family and friends you enjoy spending time with? What about your kids – don't you want to see them grow up, get married and have kids of their own? Quitting smoking will lengthen your life – as well as improve its quality – and the healthy results of kicking the habit are realized rather quickly. A May 2008 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that 61 percent of the full benefit of quitting in regard to coronary heart disease mortality and 42 percent of the full benefit of quitting in regard to cerebrovascular deaths was realized within the first five years.

Quit smoking reason #7: Improve your fertility

Having trouble conceiving? In the article Smoking adds a decade to your fertility age, experts say smoking could be hurting your chances. However, lead researcher Dr Bea Lintsen, from Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, says: "The positive news from our results is that they suggest that couples – in particular, women with unexplained subfertility – may be able to improve the success of IVF treatment by quitting smoking."

Quit smoking reason #8: Stay beautiful

According to Kori Ellis, author of 8 Healthy skincare tips, studies show that the skin of cigarette smokers ages more than twice as fast as that of non-smokers. Smoking dehydrates your skin and depletes it of essential nutrients. She suggests that you detoxify your skin by quitting smoking and/or limiting your exposure to second hand smoke and other pollutants.

Quit smoking reason #9: Better your digestive health

Believe it or not, smoking can contribute to digestive diseases. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases warns that smoking can effect all parts of the digestive system, contributing to such common disorders as heartburn and peptic ulcers as well as increasing the risk of Crohn's disease, and possibly gallstones, which form when liquid stored in the gallbladder hardens into pieces of stone-like material. Smoking can even damage your liver.

Quit smoking reason #10: Be a good role model

Even though packs of smokes say smoking is hazardous to your health, your kids are going to look to you for guidance. If you smoke, chances are great they will, too. If you don't, you improve the chances they won't, either. If you quit, you are showing them that smoking is a poor choice for long-term health and, as importantly, you are showing them that you care enough about them as well as yourself to live to see them grow up and have kids of their own.

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Our Vision and Services

Our vision is of a society where no one should experience discrimination on the grounds of their mental health.

Mental health problems are extremely common across society, with one in four of us experiencing them in any year. Despite being so common, people from all communities will still experience discriminatory attitudes and behaviours that can prevent people from speaking out, seeking support and playing full and active roles in our communities. The impact of mental health stigma and discrimination will vary between communities as mental health has a cultural context that affects the way communities talk about the subject and engage with people who have mental health problems. In some cultures depression, for example, doesn't exist and in others an experience of a mental health problem can be attached to a sense of shame.

For the African and Caribbean communities a key issue is the overrepresentation of young African and Caribbean men in mental health services. Misconceptions and stereotypes have led to a perception that this group is more likely to pose a risk of violent behaviour and, as a result, they are more likely to be treated as inpatients and sectioned when compared to other groups. It is well documented that this has led to a fear of talking about mental health issues more openly and a fear of using mental health services. Research by the Race Equality Foundation (2011) also highlighted fears that discrimination against Black & Minority Ethnic (BME) communities and migrant service users will increase in the austerity climate and whilst commissioning arrangements change.

Our Services

· Provide information, advice, advocacy

· Represent diversity communities in Health Care services, policies and strategies

· Organise training in health and social care in collaboration with local colleges

· Provide human resources ( including interpreters) who are suitable to the diversity communities especially to break language and cultural barriers

· Provides domiciliary care and support

· Provide services such specialised support for people with mental health needs, including people who suffer from short-term memory problems, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

· Provide visits to elderly people and help them with outings and home services

· Participate in local authority and NHS consultations , research events and programmes to voice the needs of diversity communities.

· Increase access to services and rights for disadvantaged people and the most vulnerable of our society

· Help and support unemployed people to look for work, including training and job preparation

· Provide legal advice in a range of issues from on Immigration and Asylum , welfare benefits, housing, health, education, community care, and training, employment, etc.

· Provide advice and guidance, information and practical help so that our service users can access opportunities they are entitled to

· Organise training and other community learning opportunities that provide new skills, increase confidence and motivation

· Support our service users to overcome barriers to learning, employment and training

· Provide support for young people with their education, training, confidence building, employment and social needs.

Objectives of our Diversity Living Programme:

· To promote the inclusion and participation of diversity communities* in integrated care.

· To inform policy, locally and nationally, and assisting in the formulation of effective policies, strategies and good practices in integrated care in order to contribute to improved health outcomes for the people from the diversity communities (e.g. Black and minority ethnic communities) and to ensure health services are able to meet their specific needs.

· To improve the quality of life for diversity people with disability, mental health problems and their families and carers through integrated care by providing inclusive advocacy and information.

· To provide service that enable diversity groups and individuals with disability /elderly and their carers to make the right choice for themselves and have an influence on decisions made about their future.

· To promote the rights of diversity people with disability, their families and carers and make sure their rights are safe and protected.

· To promoting access to information regarding healthcare issues and to raise awareness of the needs of diversity disabled children, young people, older people and their families.

· To promote the rights of older and disabled diversity people, helping them overcome and enable them to participate in decisions about their future

· To provide support and information to those suffering the isolation and loneliness that can be associated with disability and old age

· To fight against mental health stigma in refugee, black and minority ethnic communities and ensure no one should experience discrimination on the grounds of their mental health or disability.

*Diversity communities are older people, disabled people, Black, Asian, refugees, migrants, asylum seekers and other ethnic minorities.