Welcome to the teachers section of "smoke’s no joke". We aim to arm you with all the information you need to tackle smoking issues in school.

Health issues

Cigarettes kill people, 81,600 people died during 2009 as a result of smoking in England alone. But smokers already know that smoking can kill them, it's one of the many over-quoted facts that have lost their impact.


The health information we give here makes the anti-smoking message relevant, personal and where appropriate, hard-hitting. Every day, we read about horrible things happening to people. Accidents, suicide and murder all make the headlines but if you were to add up all those causes of death (and add HIV and alcoholic liver disease in for good measure) you'd still get nowhere near the number of deaths caused by smoking. Smoking kills more people than any other single cause of death and for every smoker who dies, 20 more are suffering from a smoking related disease.

And at the other end of the scale, smoking can make even minor ailments much worse. A smoker will suffer more with a cold or the flu than a non-smoker. During 2009/10, 1.5 million adults in the UK were admitted to hospital suffering from a smoking related illness. A further 9,500 hospital admissions and 300,000 GP consultations involved babies and children suffering as a result of exposure to second-hand smoke.

Yes, non-smokers are affected by the same diseases that smoking makes you more vulnerable to, and non-smokers die too, but your odds are a lot better if you don't smoke. There's no getting away from the fact that smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the UK, by a long way.

Death by cigarettes
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