Spotlight on smoking

    Friday, July 30, 2021

     

    Smoke-free streets and calls for a ban on cigarettes from tobacco firm boss hit the headlines last week and shone a spotlight on the health implications surrounding smoking. 

    An article in The Guardian stated that tobacco firm Philip Morris International "has called on the UK government to ban cigarettes within a decade, in a move that would outlaw its own Marlboro brand". Jacek Olczak, CEO said the company could "see the world without cigarettes … and actually, the sooner it happens, the better it is for everyone." He said that cigarettes should be treated like petrol cars, the sale of which is due to be banned from 2030. 

    While the article also details criticisms and comments from anti-smoking campaigners against the firm, it does focus attention on how serious smoke damage to health is being viewed. Read the full article here. 

    In the same week, Barnsley Hospital has created a smoke-free space for staff and visitors and has become the first hospital site in the country to introduce a smoke-free road ban. The initiative is to help the long-term aim of making smoking invisible in the town, especially around children so they are less likely to start smoking. Find out more on this from The Yorkshire Post. 

    Help yourself feel better

    If you are a smoker you probably already know that giving up the habit is one of the best things you can do for your health. The damage that smoking causes to your health is heavily publicised. Add in the need for home oxygen/respiratory care is like taking another step back, increasing more pressure on your body and making day-to-day tasks a bigger challenge than they need to be. 

    Smoking also increases your risk of severe Covid, according to a review in January 2021 by the World Health Organisation. Smokers who get coronavirus are twice as likely to attend hospital than non-smokers. 

    Further information on lung health can be found here. 

    Cost

    If the health benefits aren't enough of an incentive to try and quit smoking, perhaps the cost of it will help tip the balance. If you smoke around 10 cigarettes a day, you will be spending almost £2,000 per year.

    Tip: Some people open a separate bank account when they quit and transfer the funds they would have spent on smoking into it - it's a visual reminder of how well you've done and can be used as a treat, holiday or even towards Christmas.

    Outside personal finances, in 2018 the annual cost that smoking put on the NHS and social care services exceeded £2.5 billion. Jump forward a couple of years and pair that with the pressures the pandemic has had on the UK health services means that they are even more stretched than necessary, so giving up smoking helps your health and many others. 

    References/sources:

    The Guardian
    The Yorkshire Post
    ASH - Action on Smoking
    WHO - World Health Organisation 
    British Heart Foundation

     

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