Sunday 25 September 2016

Quitters' guard against cancer

Published 12/01/2016 | 02:30

Lung cancer is now the fourth most common disease in Ireland.
Lung cancer is now the fourth most common disease in Ireland.

Lung cancer is Ireland's fourth most common form of the disease with more than 2,000 people diagnosed with it annually. It was by far the single most common cause of cancer death in Ireland during 2010-2012, claiming the lives of 1,800 annually. The stark statistics should be further motivation to those who have given up cigarettes since the start of 2016 and are still fighting cravings and other battles.

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One of the reasons why people give up is fear of putting on weight.

Key advice is: 1. Do more exercise. 2. Use stop smoking treatments. 3. Postpone dieting until you've successfully quit smoking.

People can gain on average 5kg (11lbs) in the year after they stop smoking. But the benefits of stopping smoking more than make up for the negatives of putting on weight. 4. Some people are more likely than others to put on weight when they stop smoking. You are more at risk of weight gain if you are already very overweight, are a heavy drinker (or you don't drink any alcohol at all) and are a heavy smoker. 5. Regular exercise may prevent about half the weight gain expected after a year of quitting smoking. It burns off calories and reduces cravings for cigarettes. Build up to 150 minutes a week at least as soon as you can.

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