Do you want to know why you shouldn’t smoke?  One:  You’ll die younger – either from heart or lung disease, or from cancer or from general wearing out of your body parts.  Fact.  Two:  Your life will be less happy if you smoke – you’ll have less money, you’ll restrict yourself in choices of friends and partners, you’ll age more quickly and be less attractive, you’ll be less healthy and less energetic, you won’t do as much, statistically you’ll probably earn less than you otherwise would.  Fact.

Try - - the smoking section of the NHS Direct website for advice and help.  But for me, this site pulls its punches on how smoking is such a bad thing.

So how does all this work?  It’s a fairly simple medical process.  All forms of aging are caused by particles always present in the body called free radicals.  Chemically a free radical is a molecule that is missing an electron so wants to react with another molecule to make itself stable.  Where do free radicals come from?  Beyond my ken but I do know that smoking generates them as does prolonged strenuous exercise (interesting point – Olympic athletes watch out). 

Free radicals will react with the nearest thing to hand (and so in diet we try to include anti-oxidants with which the free radicals can harmlessly react) and when they react with a body cell, as they usually do, they damage the cell and we get aging.  Wrinkles are where free radicals have destroyed skin cells for example.

Important effects of the excess free radicals that smoking produces are in causing heart diseases and cancers.  Free radical attack to our blood vessels causes them to become damaged and gradually filled with a fatty substance as a residue.  When it becomes critical you get high blood pressure, heart failure, stroke.  You die.  This happens to everyone – it’s part of the aging process - it just happens faster to smokers because they expose themselves to increased levels of free radical attack. 

And cancers are the result of free radical attack causing a self-sustaining tumour (my medicine here might be a little improvised).  This is something of a random process so some healthy people get a cancer while young and some heavy smokers never do.  But you can’t argue with the statistics.  Lots of free radicals greatly increase the probability of cancer.  Smoking increases free radicals.

Smoking has not a single thing in its favour.  Are you stupid?