Health Champions Session on Smoking and Alcohol

On Tuesday 24th February we had our 4th session with Vivien Mansfield who is a Learning Disability Health Facilitator for Merseycare.

Vivien had arranged for Ged Carney to come in and talk ato the group about smoking and alcohol.

Ged showed us the amount of tar that goes into the body each year if someone smokes 20 cigarettes a day – it looked horrible.


Ged showed us teeth of a non smoker and teeth of a smoker.   The smokers mouth was very red and inflamed the teeth were rotten.

rotten teeth


We also found out there was more chance of cancer – lung cancer, throat, jaw and mouth.


Even if you don’t smoke – we need to know how we can help others think about stopping smoking or smoking less.  People said:

– Shirley said smoking can affect your feet and circulation.

– Smoking makes your clothes smell.

– The ceilings in smokers houses are yellow.

– Sometimes smokers have a yellow bit at the front of their hair.

– You have more wrinkles and your skin looks grey if you smoke.

– Shirley said you would have more money if you stopped smoking.

– People said you’d have more energy.

– It makes your hands go yellow.

– It costs a lot of money

People who smoke alot cough. They produce lots of phlegm. Ged showed us a jar that had the amount of phlegm that a person who smokes brings up in one year.


What ways can people pack up smoking?

Your doctor can prescribe different things like:

– Gum

– Tablets

– Lozenges

– Nicotine patches

– Inhalators

– Nasal spray


Ged told us that in cigarettes there is nicotine that makes us want to smoke so the doctor gives things with nicotine in to help like patches.

We talked about alcohol.   Our members don’t drink a lot only occasionally.  Drinking too much can affect our mood. It can make us sad and it makes us angry.


We looked at the different types of drinks and had to guess how many units were in each.   It was very hard.

In a pint there are 2 units of alcohol.


In an alcopop like a WKD there is 1.5 unit of alcohol








In a 175ml of wine there is 2 units



Some of the things that we do when we are drunk are:

– Lose our keys or phone

– Not keep ourselves safe

– Argue

– Not get up in the morning

– If you have epilepsy and drink you are more like to have a seizure

– If you are on anti-depressants and you drink too much it makes you depressed

-Try and set a limit on the number of drinks

– Have 2-3 days where you don’t drink at all so your liver can repair itself

– Have a glass of alcohol then a glass of water


At the end people said:

– We talked about smoking and alcohol. It was very interesting.

– I really enjoy coming and asking questions about smoking.

– I learnt about the different alcohol units.

– Today was good it was good to learn about alcohol and smoking.

– It was very interesting. I found more about smoking and alcohol. I never realised there was so many units in a cocktail.

– Seeing the smokers teeth was interesting.

– I liked the beer goggles.


A HUGE thank you to Vivien for organsing this course for our Health Champions it is fantastic.

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