Today, 31 May, the World Health Organisation is celebrating World No Tobacco Day to raise awareness of the damage caused by tobacco to human health. The WHO estimates that 22% of the world’s population over the age of 15 is a smoker and that, as a result of this habit, over 6 million people die every year on account of smoking and exposure to smoke (one death every six seconds).
The percentage of female smokers continues to rise in Europe. In Spain, 24.3 % of the female population smokes. Indeed, in the 14 to 18 age group, 33.8 % of females smoke as opposed to 30.9% of males.
Cigarette smoke also affects male fertility, directly influencing sperm quality. According to Doctor Sergio Soares, Director of the IVI Lisbon clinic, “sperm mutations that can be transmitted to descendants are permanent and cause irreversible changes in genetic make-up that may carry on in future generations. The consequences of smoking reach beyond the smoker and affect his non-smoking descendants”.
Generally speaking, the harmful effects of smoking on fertility can be reversed in a year, thus increasing the chances of success in assisted reproductive treatments, while at the same time benefitting the body as a whole in the event of future pregnancy.
Stopping smoking is an important step that requires a lot of willpower, strength and psychological support. Accordingly, we offer you Below you can find a few small tips that will help you in your firm resolve to change swap the smoke in your lungs for healthy fresh air.
- Try and start the day doing a little exercise
- Avoid drinks such as coffee and alcohol, particularly during the first phases of giving up smoking
- Clean your teeth immediately after meals to increase the sensation of freshness
- When you feel like smoking, remember your main reason for giving it up
- Bear in mind that the desire to smoke is very great at the beginning but that it becomes weaker over time. You will feel increasingly less like smoking
- Give yourself small treats and rewards for your resilience and willpower
- Surround yourself with non-smokers and find smoke-free areas (there are increasingly more of these around)