Thankfully I come from a family of non-smokers. I remember trying it in my teens and my mum finding a pack of cigarettes I had purchased at the paper shop in my handbag. I got into trouble – mainly because of how much it cost – and never tried it again. Plus, I thought it was disgusting! My first serious boyfriend smoked. I couldn’t stand the smell and made him go outside when we started to live together.
At the moment, there are around 900,000 people diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in the UK. This generally takes the form of emphysema or chronic bronchitis. COPD is an irreversible disease, leaving many sufferers struggling to draw breath. It also accounts for 25,000 deaths every year in the UK. This is more than breast, prostate and bowel cancer combined. The main cause? Smoking.
You need to look after your lungs and, although the damage cannot be reversed, you can help to prevent it developing or getting worse by taking steps to stop smoking.
Smokefree South West are currently running a campaign to highlight the effect smoking can have on people’s everyday lives. As part of this work there are a series of video that they are sharing to help raise awareness of just how much it affects not just the person who smokes, but their family around them.
The clip I am sharing is of a young mum by the name of Kirsty. At only 33 years old, she was diagnosed last year with a lung disease caused by smoking. Through this powerful clip, Kirsty explains the impact that a smoking related illness like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease has on daily life. She talks about her experience of living with lung disease – from not being able to lift her arms above her head to being unable to walk up a single flight of stairs without having to take breaks to catch her breath, of being unable to enjoy simple pleasures with her daughter that most of us would take for granted like taking her swimming. Her story is just one of many and what is particularly poignant is that despite quitting smoking, the damage has been done. Kirsty’s health is unlikely to improve.
For more information please visit http://www.betheretomorrow.co.uk or visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SmokefreeSW.
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