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This podcast shows the effects smoking can have on the mind and body. Ash tray warning!!

  • Author: Rose Schramn
  • Upload Date: 1/12/2009
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Smoking and Mental Illness

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This podcast gives info about smoking and mental illness and tips for quitting.

  • Author: SANE Australia

Created by www.itsallright.org


Provided by Reach Out

We have partnered with Reach Out to bring you the best factsheet information we can on this topic. Reach Out offers information, support and resources to help young people improve their understanding of mental health issues, develop resilience, and increase their coping skills and help-seeking behaviour.

About Smoking

quit smokingWhy do people smoke?

Most people know smoking is not good for their health, however there are still many people who smoke. The perceived image that smoking is cool, tough, sophisticated or it is a way you can relax and chill out, are some of the reasons why people smoke.

Most people will wonder whether they should smoke. Before making the decision it may be helpful for you to consider how it will affect you.

The effects of smoking

Smoking affects everybody differently. The number of cigarettes smoked per day and the age at which you start smoking are some of the things that may influence what affect smoking has on you. Research has shown that the younger a person is when they start to smoke, the more likely it is they will experience smoking-related disease and illness, such as cancer and heart disease. Some of the effects of smoking include:

Becoming addicted - Once you start smoking it may become very difficult to give it up. Cigarettes contain nicotine, which is a highly addictive substance meaning that it becomes something that your body relies on and finds it hard to do without. Remember you don't have to smoke a lot of cigarettes or smoke everyday to become addicted.

Reduced fitness levels - Smoking makes it a lot harder to stay fit and healthy. When you smoke you are more likely to have shortness of breath or get sick with coughs and colds. This may make it harder to play sport or stay fit.

Changes in appearance - Smoking may cause your skin to break out, it can stain your teeth making them look yellow and it may also cause bad breath.

Increased stress levels - It is common for people to use smoking as a way of dealing with their stress. Nicotine is a stimulant, which means that when you smoke your body is placed under stress. Therefore if you are already stressed out and you are smoking you make your body work harder and smoking may actually increase your stress levels. Check out our section on managing stress for other ways to help you relieve stress and chill out.

Getting help to stop smoking

quit smokingMaking the decision to quit smoking is a hard one because it is so addictive. Try not to be too hard on yourself if you have already tried to give up and gone back to smoking. It is not a sign of weakness or lack of will power, your body has made changes which means it is difficult for you to do without the nicotine that smoking provides.

Keep trying to stop. When you are ready, here are some suggestions for helping to quit smoking:

  • Get rid of your smokes - throw away all your cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays so they are not lying around as tempters.
  • Get support from friends and family - All those who know you as a smoker need to know you are giving up. Letting your friends know you are stopping smoking may mean they can be supportive and not offer you cigarettes. It may be helpful to give up with a friend.
  • If you are craving a smoke, distract yourself - When you first start to give up smoking it is normal for you to crave a cigarette. These cravings will become less and less the longer you give up smoking. During the craving try to distract yourself with something else. You may find it helpful to go for a walk or run, chat to a friend, listen to some music, jump on the net or chew some gum.

Helpful organisations

Statewide telephone services for information, counselling, referral to a treatment or support program and other assistance:

The Quitline 13 7848 or 13QUIT is free, youth friendly telephone advisory service that is available all around Australia at the cost of a local call. All callers are offered a Quit pack, containing the Quit book and other information.

Directline (for counselling) -1800 888 236 (regional)
Youth Substance Abuse Service (YSAS) - 9418 1020 (metro) or 1800 014 446 (regional)

Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS): 07 3837 5989(metro) or 1800 177 833 (outside Brisbane)

Australian Capital Territory:
ACT ADIS - 02 6205 6565
(territory wide)

South Australia:
SA ADIS - 1300 131 340 or 08 8363 8618

NSW ADIS - 02 9361 8000 (metro) or 1800 422 599 (outside Sydney)

TAS ADIS - 1800 811 994 or 03 9416 1818

Northern Territory:
NT ADIS - 1800 629 683 or Alice Springs 08 8951 7580 or Darwin 08 8322 8399
Amity Community Services - 08 8944 6565 or 1800 684 372

Western Australia:
WA ADIS - 08 9442 5000 (metro) or 1800 198 024 (outside Perth)

Also check out the resource area below which includes download-able info.


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  1. [...] further information on smoking check out our smoking page with digital stories, community section, factsheet as well as download-able resources supplied by [...]

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