Stop smoking this new year with the suggestions of our resident GP Dr Zak

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It has been a difficult and stressful month, but despite it, many smokers have made New Years resolutions to try and quit, a very commendable aspiration.

Figures from a UK survey show that just under half of smokers surveyed wanted to quit for the New Year. Yet, sadly, nearly 70% had turned on in the first week of January, and more than half smoked more than before their decision to quit.

With many more people working from home, this not only increases the risks for the individuals themselves, but also for those in the same household. Smoking claims 100,000 lives a year in the UK, with the leading causes of death being lung cancer, chronic obstructive airway / lung disease (COPD) and ischemic heart disease (IHD). The charity ASH (Action on smoking and health) still calculates 11,000 deaths last year as a result of exposure to second-hand smoke.

I hope to present some current evidence and perhaps suggest ways for those considering to stop taking steps towards this goal.

Smoking statistics show that since the 1970s there has been a rapid decline in the number of individuals who smoke, from half the adult population to one in six, a figure that is worth highlighting and emphasizing. celebrate. So now is a great time to think about quitting this habit if you can. Most people are aware of the deleterious effects of smoking on all aspects of our being, but showing pictures of charred lungs or people having a stroke has not been shown to increase the desire to quit. among smokers, so many tobacco companies have abandoned this in favor of plain packaging.

Those who wish to give up any vice must be “in the zone” to quote a phrase often used. There has to be a reason to quit, whether it’s the desire for better health and wellness or realizing the real cost of the habit, which will cost several thousand pounds a year to the tobacco. Encouragement from those around them and literature emphasizing the benefits of quitting smoking can spur positive action.

Smoking has been suggested to protect against Covid. Not only is it disappointing that the data can be distorted to interpret this, it is also bogus.

The issue of e-cigarettes, or vaping, remains controversial. Evidence shows that electronic cigarettes are much less harmful than smoking.



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