Smoking: be smart, just don’t start

Cigarettes are full of dangerous chemicals, and smoking is addictive and harmful to almost every organ in your body. Make sure you know the facts about what cigarettes do to you.


Just one cigarette,
what’s the big deal?

Reality Check

Cigarettes stick!

Cigarettes contain nicotine which is highly addictive, especially for children and young people. It can affect your brain development.

Most young people don’t think they will get addicted to nicotine but find it very difficult to stop smoking once they start.

It’s a slippery slope. You could get cravings from having as little as one cigarette a month, and you will be putting your health and future at risk.

Life can be stressful sometimes, but smoking only makes your stress worse

Smoking might feel like it relaxes you, but it actually makes feelings of low mood or anxiety worse. The relief you feel after smoking is only short term. The effects of nicotine withdrawal mean that you will feel anxious again soon and want to reach for another cigarette, rapidly creating a nicotine addiction cycle.

There are better ways to deal with stress and anxiety.

Find out ways to get help

Smoking is a toxic business

Did you know that tobacco is the only legal consumer product that kills when used as instructed by the manufacturer?! There are over 7,000 toxic chemicals in every puff of cigarette and there is no such thing as a safe level of smoking. Every cigarette causes harm to your body. Don’t be misled.

Did you know?

Smoking is the largest cause of preventable death and illness in Hampshire and the UK? The health effects of smoking include cancers and heart disease. It can make asthma worse, cause tooth loss, pneumonia and many other health conditions.

Over 67% of those trying one cigarette go on to become daily smokers! And on average it takes someone 30 attempts to quit successfully, often taking many years.

Buying cigarettes makes a big dent on your finances, leaving you with less money to spend on other things like going to the cinema, nights out with friends or buying things for yourself.

Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and some of these effects are immediate (you don’t have to wait till your old age to see the damage). Find out more.

It is illegal to sell tobacco to, or buy tobacco for anyone under 18

You can anonymously report anyone selling illegal cigarettes (bootleg tobacco) or selling cigarettes/tobacco to anyone under 18 to Hampshire Trading Standards.

There is free expert help that is proven to help people quit smoking and can be used by any smokers over the age of 12 who live or work in Hampshire. It’s free even for your family and friends who are smokers. Find out more below.

Feeling the pressure? Need to talk?

We all feel stressed and anxious sometimes, but there are better ways to deal with stress than smoking.

  • Talk to an adult you trust like your parent, carer or teacher
  • Free confidential advice and support is available. Chat health offers free confidential health and wellbeing support for young people
  • Talk to frank offers free, honest, practical advice and information about drugs, alcohol and substance misuse
  • YoungMinds offers support with young people’s mental wellbeing
  • Other national and local advice and support services are listed on the Mental Wellbeing Hampshire website

Need help to quit smoking?

Quitting smoking might not be easy, but you are not alone. We’ve got you! Smokefree Hampshire is a free, confidential stop smoking service that offers tailored support to help anyone in Hampshire over the age of 12.

Everyone’s quitting journey is different, Smokefree Hampshire will help you find what works to help you quit for good, be it online, over the phone or face to face. The service offers personalised support and nicotine replacement therapy such as nicotine gums and patches.

You can also speak to your school nurse, welfare officer or healthcare professional about quitting.

Be smart, get help to stop smoking.


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