I don’t smoke but I think I need to make something clear and get it out in the open - I am a smoker, there I have said it. I absolutely love smoking; I have for years smoked cigarettes, “roll ups”, cigars and even for a time a pipe (it was a phase).
The ritual of smoking is compelling; opening a new packet of cigarettes and pointing at things with the stem of a pipe is a unique experience (well it was good enough for Tony Benn and Gandalf).
I started smoking way back in 1987 when I was 15, buying cigarettes in singles from shopkeepers that would happily split a pack and ask no questions. I continued to smoke, in earnest into and throughout the 1990’s and finally gave up around 2002.
I am not going to pretend that I have not smoked since, I have, on occasion bought a packet of 10 for a social event and surprised friends and colleagues who see me as a complete no smoker by “sparking up” (do people even say that anymore?). I can say though that I have not done this in recent memory.
If there was a newsflash this afternoon that, counter to absolutely all available evidence, that smoking cigarettes was harmless I would probably be the first to pop out for a pack. This is patently never going to happen so why join me and become a (reluctant) ex-smoker.
My goodness, when I started smoking a packet of cigarettes was about £1.50 and now; I am reliably informed (by the Tobacco Manufacturers Association no less), that the average price in 2016 is £9.40. I was so stunned by this inflation that I created the following graph (I love graphs) does anyone really pay this much for cigarettes!!
According to NHS Choices, “Smoking is one of the biggest causes of death and illness in the UK.
Every year around 100,000 people in the UK die from smoking, with many more living with debilitating smoking-related illnesses.
Smoking increases your risk of developing more than 50 serious health conditions. Some may be fatal and others can cause irreversible long-term damage to your health. One in two smokers will die from a smoking-related disease.
According to cancer research UK, “Every year, second-hand smoke kills thousands of people in the UK from lung cancer, heart disease, stroke and the lung disease Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)” and second hand smoke is particularly dangerous for children.
Stoptober (website here https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/stoptober/home) is a campaign to encourage people to stop smoking. Take a look at the website where there is a tremendous amount of information and support available as part of this campaign.
Alan Carr’s “Easy Way to Stop Smoking” is credited with helping millions of people to stop smoking and claims a 90% success rate. I think it helps that the author insists that you continue smoking until you finish the book and goes about it in a very non preachy way. This book is on Amazon for £6.99 (far less than a packet of cigarettes) – click on the link directly to the site or take a look at the site www.allencarrseasyway.co.uk for more information.
In North East Lincolnshire there is a huge amount of support for people to stop smoking (including at Freeman Street Resource Centre) through North East Lincolnshire Lifestyle Services Monday to Saturday – no appointment necessary.
The longer you stop smoking the easier it becomes. The more times you try and stop smoking the more chances you give yourself to stop.
When you do stop smoking you realise very quickly that you feel better, look better, (smell better) and you have more money in your pocket to spend on the things that really matter.
Best of luck to all you future non smokers.
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