NO SMOKING DAY: DITCH OR SWITCH

Wednesday 8th March 2017, is national No Smoking Day and as always, our charity is urging everyone to quit smoking or take the first steps to giving up cigarettes for good. Around the world people are coming together on No Smoking Day to encourage everyone who smokes, be it cigarettes, cigars, pipes, smokeless tobacco or those who chew tobacco, to give up the habit. 

This year No Smoking Day also falls on Budget Day and tobacco taxes will rise by at least 2% above inflation.  ASH, (Action on Smoking and Health) the UK’s leading public health charity that works to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco, wants smokers to use the day as their chance to quit under a campaign entitled ‘Ditch or Switch’.  Quit smoking to save money and improve health.  They estimate that a smoker on average earnings who successfully quit would be giving themselves a 6% pay rise.   A smoker on 10 cigarettes a day who decides to quit completely could save themselves about £23.50 a week, or more than £1,200 a year.   Average pay in the UK is now slightly over £500 a week (roughly £20,000 a year after tax).

The best chance for quitting smoking in England is to use a local Stop Smoking Service, which should offer behavioural support and coaching, and prescriptions for a stop smoking medicine such as varenicline and/or nicotine replacement therapy. That can improve a smoker’s chance of quitting by up to four times.   Only about one in twenty unaided attempts to quit smoking result in smokers stopping for good.

The charity’s Founder, Dr Vinod Joshi, cannot reinforce this message enough.  He says “Most people know that smoking has serious health risks.  Mouth cancer is one of them.   Most smokers don’t think they will get it but the research shows that 3 in 4 people who have mouth cancer have smoked at some point in their lives.  In addition, people who use both tobacco and alcohol are at greater risk of developing these cancers than people who use either tobacco or alcohol alone.”

There are a few websites you can visit to receive information and support on stopping smoking including ash.org.uk, /www.smoking-help.co.uk and https://www.nhsinform.scot/nosmokingday.