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Sex - EU warning

London 6th December 2005

SMOKING CAN DAMAGE YOUR SEX LIFE

Smoking can seriously damage your sex life - that is the message from the European Commission's 'HELP - For a life without tobacco' campaign.

While tobacco marketing regularly associates smoking with glamour, fun, and attractiveness, the stark reality is far from the fantasy featured in fashion shows, magazine editorials and tobacco advertising.

The bad news is that smoking can ruin your health, happiness and relationships. The good news is that giving up smoking is beneficial.

An article produced by the HELP campaign in conjunction with the ENSP (European Network of Smoking Prevention) highlights the harm that smoking can do to both men and women's sex life. The issues include:
· Impotence (men)
· Hormonal changes affecting appearance (women)
· Damage to testes and to sperm (men)
· Painful and irregular periods (women)
· Cervical cancer (women)
· Premature aging (men & women)
· Fertility problems (men and women)

When it comes to smoking, sex and romance, the picture is not a pretty one. Smoking damages almost every aspect of our looks, our health and our relationships. The good news is that in young people, many of these effects can be avoided or even reversed by quitting.

"Many young people view smoking as a pleasurable, relaxing activity after sex but they don't think about the long term health consequences. Impotence and infertility are health messages we need to make young people aware of. They need to know it's not cool to light up after sex. QUIT advisors can help young people talk through all issues concerning smoking and sexual health," said Ruth Bosworth, Director of Services, QUIT.

To obtain a copy of the article please contact Niall Dologhan on 020 8543 2299 or at n.dologhan@kestrelcomms.co.uk. The Europe Community is actively developing a complete anti-smoking policy. You can find out more on the following websites: www.help-eu.com and

Smokers looking for help to quit smoking can call Quitline 0800 00 22 00 or email stopsmoking@quit.org.uk for friendly advice on how to stop.

-ENDS-

Editor's notes:

· "HELP" is the second major EU-wide anti-smoking campaign run by the Commission. The campaign consists of a roadshow and public relations campaign, an advertising campaign and a website with help on how to quit.

· The European Commission has earmarked €72 million for the campaign between 2005 2008. Adolescents (15 to 18 year olds) and young adults (18 to 30 years olds) will be the main target groups.

· A consortium of health experts and media companies has devised the "HELP" campaign. The media companies delivering the campaign are working in partnership with the NGOs and public health bodies brought together by the European Network for Smoking Prevention (ENSP).

· At the outset of the campaign Markos Kyprianou, the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, said: "The sickness and death caused by smoking costs EU countries €100 billion a year. Prevention and information campaigns like "HELP" are an investment in a healthier and more prosperous future for our citizens. As well as promoting tobacco-free lifestyles to young people, the campaign will also highlight the dangers of passive smoking and support the trend towards tobacco-free public places."

He continued: "Eight out of ten smokers start in their teenage years. Once hooked, it is a habit that takes many of them to an early grave. Every year, 650,000 EU citizens die from tobacco related disease. I am determined to do everything I can to stop young people taking up smoking, and to help young smokers kick the habit before it ruins their health. I want to see a major shift in our society, where being smoke-free becomes the norm and the smoke-addicted are a dwindling minority. If all EU countries followed the lead of Ireland, Italy and Malta and banned smoking in public places it would go a long way to achieving this."

For further press information please contact:
Niall Dologhan or Naomi van Moppes on 020 8543 2299 or at: n.dologhan@kestrelcomms.co.uk

This press release was distributed by SourceWire News Distribution on behalf of Kestrel Worldcom in the following categories: Health. For more information visit http://www.sourcewire.com/about