I WANT to give up smoking but I am worried about putting on weight if I do. What can I do to prevent this?

Some people find that when they stop smoking, they put on weight.

If you are planning to give up, bear in mind that this may happen, and get into the habit of eating healthier foods and exercising more. However, weight gain can be due to a number of other, psychological reasons.

Smoking dulls your sense of taste and smell and it also dulls your appetite. So it's no surprise that when you give up, your taste buds reawaken and you find yourself enjoying food more. Only eat when you are actually hungry and try not to constantly snack out of boredom or as a way of replacing cigarettes. Also try to stick to healthy foods and if you want something to keep your hands and mouth busy, snack on fruit and vegetables. Some people find that when they are stressed they tend to snack on unhealthy foods such as chocolate, biscuits and crisps for comfort.

For further information on stopping smoking , contact the free national service Smokeline from NHS 24 on 0800 84 84 84 where you can speak to trained counsellors. The website http://www.canstopsmoking.com/ has got lots of information about controlling cravings.

WE have decided we are going to try camping as a cheaper alternative to a package holiday this year. I need to make up a first aid kit – what should I put in it?

A basic first aid kit should contain plasters in a variety of different sizes and shapes, sterile gauze dressings, at least two sterile eye dressings, triangular bandages, crepe-rolled bandages, safety pins, disposable sterile gloves, tweezers, scissors, alcohol-free cleansing wipes and sticky tape. I would also recommend having a thermometer, skin rash cream, insect bite spray or cream, antispectic cream and simple painkillers in the kit. This kit would be best kept in your suitcase as sharp objects will not pass through security at airports and borders.

Finally it is also a good idea to have cough medicine, decongestant tablets or nasal spray, antihistamine tablets and distilled water for cleaning wounds available.

Your local pharmacy will advice you what to take and will have a number of commercial examples for you to consider.

WHAT is Toxic shock syndrome?

Toxic shock syndrome is a rare, acute and serious illness, affecting around 40 people in the UK each year. Anyone can get Toxic Shock Syndrome (TTS) - men, women and children. Bacteria that live harmlessly on the skin and inside the nose cause it by invading the bloodstream. Children and elderly people are more likely not to have built up the antibodies needed to protect them from the toxins. However, it is so rare that most doctors will not see a case of TSS during their medical career.

Symptoms of TSS may be similar to severe flu initially. They include vomiting, diarrhoea, a sunburn-like rash, muscle aches, a sudden high temperature, drowsiness or confusion, fainting and/ or dizziness and collapse. Patients look pale and have a high pulse rate. Children with TSS will often show confusion as an early sign.

There is no specific test for TSS. The condition is diagnosed by looking for the typical symptoms and checking for evidence of organ failure. TSS is a medical emergency and anyone suffering the symptoms should seek medical help immediately.

TSS is treated with antibiotics and if caught early there is a good sign of recovery. You will need to be admitted to hospital straight away and may need to be treated in an intensive care unit.

Most people will respond to treatment within a couple of days, but it may take several weeks before they are well enough to leave hospital.