Most smokers want to give up but simply find it hard to even go a day without lighting up, research shows.
We always support No Smoking Day, now in its 26th year, as we see the devastatingly results of long-term smokers. Smoking causes around 90% of lung cancers, a powerful statistic that constantly motivates us to encourage people to stub it out.
Trying to force smokers to stop doesn’t work. It’s not about harrassing or picking on them, but providing help when they feel ready and willing.
We all know its bad for us but we also know it’s not easy. As the English novelist AP Herbert said, “Thank heaven, I have given up smoking again... God! I feel fit. Homicidal, but fit. A different man. Irritable, moody, depressed, rude, nervy, perhaps; but the lungs are fine”.
A lot of progress has been made over the decades, with just over a fifth of adults currently smoking. But it was concerning to hear this week that lung cancer rates have more than doubled for women over 60 since the mid-1970s. As a mother of two children, one of them being a teenage boy, I also worry about the number of young people smoking and that health campaigns apparently have so little impact on them.
The “crafty fag” scenario has been played out in school grounds for many years. What sets this generation apart is that they are blowing smoke in the face of the strongest anti-smoking campaigns, involving more warnings to young people than ever that the nasty weed can kill, cause wrinkles and seriously impinge on their social life.
It’s depressing that after such efforts to persuade them otherwise, young people still perceive smoking as “cool”. Thirty is a lifetime away and they can’t imagine being that old or heading towards middle-age.
Thousands of people stop smoking every day - by dying.
We must never forget that and we must continue to push the stop smoking message and ensure we give people support to give up.