Alcohol and smoking

The impact of alcohol on health

Alcohol is the fifth leading cause of death and disability globally. The cost of alcohol-related harms in the UK has been estimated at £21 billion a year. Regular drinking also increases the amount of calories consumed and can contribute to weight gain and obesity.

Evidence from behavioural science suggests that simple and easy ways of helping people to change their behaviour are the most effective.

For example:

Setting yourself a target of having more drink free days every week is an easy way to drink less and reduce the risks to your health.

Where to get help with problem drinking

DrinkAware provide resources and advice to help people make better choices about drinking.

The Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust has produced a self-help guide on alcohol use.

The risks of smoking

Smoking continues to be the most significant public health challenge in the UK as a whole and in the UK Armed Forces specifically.

The severe long-term health consequences of smoking are well known: smoking kills over 200 people a day in England. Smoking also has significant and immediate implications for the wellbeing of our people, contributing to poor respiratory wellbeing, low aerobic fitness, flexibility, strength and musculoskeletal injury which are common factors for medical discharge.

Get help to stop smoking

NHS Smokefree – Join the millions of people who have used Smokefree support to help them stop smoking. Serving personnel can also access smoking cessation services from the Medical Officer.

Public Health England Health Resources

Public Health England offer a comprehensive range of free resources to help promote healthy lifestyles These include guides on:

  • becoming smoke-free
  • drinking less