HealthFirst Liverpool Health Champions – Smoking and Alcohol

On Tuesday 9th February the HealthFirst Liverpool Health Champions met to talk about Smoking and Alcohol.

Vivien Mansfield who is a Learning Disability Healthcare Facilitator for Mersey Care has arrange for Ged Carney to come and to talk to us.

Vivien asked the group if anyone knew any areas of the body that smoking can affect?

Eric said “The heart and lungs”

Cally said “The brain”

Sue said “Smoking can cause cancer.”

Vivien told us that 1 in 2 smokers will die from direct smoking.

We looked at a model of a face to show how smoking affects the biggest organ in our body the skin.

The group talked about what happens when you smoke. People had relatives who smoked who they said “You can smell it on them, I don’t like it, their houses smell.”

We then looked at Clem’s Phlegm. Eric said “Get it away from me, it is disgusting, I can’t believe that people cough up that much phlegm in 2 weeks!”

We looked at the difference between a smokers teeth and a non smokers teeth. Smoking was really bad for the mouth, it was a lot redder, the teeth were yellow and missing and full of cavities.

We also looked at the “jar of tar”.

Sarah said “Cigarettes are expensive.”

Vivien told us that it costs the average smoker £250 a month or £3,000 a year to smoke.

Vivien asked the group what health messages they have learned and what would they pass on to people.

Max said “I will tell people who smoke to stop, I know it is hard to stop but I will keep helping them.”

Ged then talked to the group about drinking and alcohol.

Ged told us that the NHS now say that drinking NOTHING – NO ALCOHOL AT ALL is the safest amount of units to have in a day. If people chose to drink then we need to be sensible and keep ourselves safe.

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.

Ged asked the group what are some of the things we do when we are drunk and what can we do to stay safe.

Eric said “Don’t be violent, drinking sometimes you get into fights.”

Cally said “Drink sensibly – make sure you stay with your drink and put your thumb over it so no one can put anything in it.”

Ged told us that the A & E departments in Liverpool Hospitals are some of the busiest in the country and at the weekend a lot of people who attend have a lot of alcohol related health concerns, e.g. being angry, getting into fights, not being in control of their actions, doing silly things like jumping off of things and hurting themselves, feeling sick, sprained ankles and being confused.

So we need to be responsible for ourselves and drink sensibly!  We all thanked Ged for coming along.

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