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Men's Lifestyle - Smoke Free & Fresh

Men's Lifestyle
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Smoke Free & Fresh
      1 Why should I pay attention to smoking?
      2 Should I give up smoking?
      3 Seven tips to quit smoking
      4 Should I consider using nicotine replacement therapy?
      5 How can I say "NO" to secondhand smoke?

1Why should I pay attention to smoking?

While many smokers feel fit and healthy, local research reports that about one-third of deaths among middle-aged men in Hong Kong are related to smoking.

Cigarette contains thousands of harmful chemical substances that harm your health. Just to name a few:

  • Nicotine- affects the central nervous system and causes addiction.
  • Carbon monoxide- impedes the body's absorption of oxygen, lowering exercise endurance, and speeding up the ageing process.
  • Tar- causes cancer and increases coughing and production of sputum.

Smoking is closely associated with pulmonary emphysema and chronic bronchitis. It increases your risk of developing various cancers (such as lung cancer, oral cancer, laryngeal cancer, oesophageal cancer), heart disease and gastric ulcers. Smoking can cause impotence and premature baldness in men as well.


Research shows that the life expectancy of the females with smoking spouses is 4 years less than those with non-smoking spouses. Children with a smoking father are two to three times more likely than children with a non-smoking father to have respiratory problems, such as coughing and excessive amount of sputum. The children also have a higher chance of becoming a smoker through imitation.

Health Alert

Smoking increases the risk of coronary heart disease, certain types of cancer, stroke and chronic lung diseases. It is the most preventable cause of morbidity and mortality in Hong Kong.

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2Should I give up smoking?

Definitely yes! There are enormous benefits to be gained by quitting smoking. If you quit, here are only a few of the benefits:

For your own physical health-

  • You reduce your chance of developing cancer, lung disease, heart disease or a stroke.
  • You are less likely to develop coughs or colds.
  • You are less likely to develop erectile dysfunction; your erections will become firmer and longer-lasting.
  • Your breath will become more fresh
  • Your ability to taste and smell improves.

For your social life-

  • You will look better when the stain on your teeth and fingers caused by the tar in cigarettes gradually fade.
  • Your clothes will be cleaner and smell better.
  • You will be back in full control and no longer distracted from work when not smoking or not able to smoke.
  • You will have more money to spend on other things.

For your family-

  • Your sperm count will be improved; you will have a better chance of having a healthy baby.
  • You will become a non-smoking role model, setting a good example to the kids (or other people's kids).
  • Reduce your family member's risk of developing lung cancer due to second-hand smoking.

No matter how old you are, it is never too late to stop smoking. As soon as you give up smoking, your body begins to repair the damage caused by smoking, and you start to reduce the risk of smoking-related diseases. Your health, presentation and performance will improve over time. The sooner you stop smoking, the earlier you will enjoy the benefits. Therefore, stop smoking now!

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Do You Know...

Smoking affects your family and others as well. Secondhand smoke increases the risk of cancer in non-smokers. In fact, non-smokers who are exposed to it are 30% more likely to get lung cancer than non-smokers who aren't exposed to it.


3Seven tips to quit smoking

Step 1: Be determined

  • Set a quit day.
  • Tell your family and friends that you are quitting and get their support.
  • Dispose things that are associated with smoking, e.g. cigarettes, ashtrays and lighters.
  • Stay away from smoking situations and cigarettes.
  • Contact the Department of Health Smoking Cessation Hotline at 1833 183.

Step 2: Conquering nicotine addiction

  • Practise the 5 Ds which include:
    • Declare that you are quitting
    • Deep breathing when feeling the urge of smoking
    • Drink plenty of water
    • Delay the urge for a cigarette. Put something other than a cigarette in your mouth. e.g. sugarless gum [remember your Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)]
    • Distract the attention from smoking to something else like making a phone call to your friends.
  • Remind yourself the commitment you have made by reading the smoking cessation declaration you have signed.
  • Follow the nicotine replacement therapy regimen and if you have any questions, call the Department of Health Smoking Cessation Hotline at 1833 183.

Step 3: Balanced Diet

  • Avoid fatty food.
  • Eat plenty vegetable and fruits.

Step 4: Re-orient your life

  • Plan something enjoyable to do everyday.
  • Develop new habits like regular exercise.

Step 5: Be Persistent

  • Write down your reasons for quitting smoking and remind yourself these benefits regularly.

Step 6: Think Positive And Picture Success

  • Remember smoking can only add to your stress.
  • Develop a positive life outlook as you are on the way to success.

Step 7: Stand Firm

  • Persevere with your smokefree life.
  • When people offer you cigarettes, tell them you have quitted and encourage them to quit as well.
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4Should I consider using nicotine replacement therapy?

Nicotine, the addictive chemical in cigarette, is a powerful drug so when you stop taking it, your body is in withdrawal. Symptoms can include:

  • anxiety, irritability
  • restlessness, nervousness
  • difficulty in concentrating
  • night-time awakenings
  • increased hunger and eating
  • light-headedness

Withdrawal symptoms are usually at their worst during the first week after you quit smoking. However, it may not be as bad as you think. Take heart that they are only temporary. Within a month, symptoms are likely to have tapered off and disappeared.

For some people, using nicotine patches, chewing gums or inhalers can ease craving, make quitting more manageable and increase the chance of success.

5How can I say "NO" to secondhand smoke?

If you are quitting smoking or are non-smoker, you have every right to say "NO" to secondhand smoke. The following are ways to say "NO" to secondhand smoke:

  • Make your home a smoke free place.
  • Encourage your family members and friends to quit smoking.
  • Choose smoke-free restaurants.
  • Insist to dine in no-smoking area.
  • Request restaurant managers to stop people smoking in no-smoking area.
  • Request security guard to stop people smoking in shopping arcade.
  • Advocate smoke-free workplace policy.
  • Encourage family and friends not to smoke at home and in vehicles.
  • Do not keep cigerettes, light and ashtrays at home and in office.
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Sources: Department of Health Health Promotion Branch
  Department of Health Tobacco and Alcohol Control Office
Related Articles
  Nicotine dependence evaluation form
Who Else Can Help?

Organizations Offering Advice on Smoking Cessation

Integrated Smoking Cessation Hotline of the Department of Health: 1833 183

•Press 1:Department of Health Smoking Cessation Hotline
•Press 2:Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Smoking Cessation Hotline
•Press 3:Hospital Authority Quitline
•Press 4:Pok Oi Smoking Cessation Service using Traditional Chinese Medicine
•Press 5:Youth Quitline of the University of Hong Kong

Hospital Authority Quitline
Phone : 2300 7272

United Christian Nethersole Community Health Service
Smoke Free Club

Phone : 3156 9012

Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Integrated Centre on Smoking Cessation
Phone : 2332 8977