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


Smokers are more susceptible to certain cancers and these deaths account for one third of all deaths from cancer in the UK every year. In 2010 this was estimated to be 37,500 people.

If you smoke, you increase your chance of contracting the following cancers:


source: unknown

  • Lung
  • Larynx (voice box)
  • Pharynx (throat)
  • Oesophagus
  • Bladder
  • Kidney
  • Pancreas
  • Nasal cavities
  • Nasal sinuses
  • Stomach
  • Liver
  • Cervix
  • Myeloid leukemia
  • Breast

Lung cancer is the UK's biggest cancer killer resulting in 30,000 deaths in 2011, of which 80% were attributable to smoking, including 950 deaths amongst non-smokers as a result of exposure to second-hand smoke.


How many cigarettes does it take?

There's a direct link between the number of cigarettes smoked, how long the person has been a smoker and their chances of developing cancer.

If you start smoking when you're 15, you're twice as likely to form the cell mutations that can lead to cancer than if you start smoking when you're 20.

Women who have smoked for 40 years or more are 60% more likely to develop breast cancer.

Of course the maths also works the other way around. If you stop smoking, your risk of contracting one of these cancers drops dramatically, even if you've smoked for a number of years.

Please refer to the Ash website for additional information

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