Millions of smokers urged to quit for No Smoking Day
13th March 2013
no smokingAn event that ‘unofficially’ first began thirty years ago is still going strong today as national No Smoking Day is upon us, with an estimated 750,000 smokers using the day as a springboard to a much healthier, tobacco-free future.  No Smoking Day is being supported by the UK charity WeQuit and the British Heart Foundation. ‘Don’t Smoke Day’, as it was first referred to back in 1983 by media, was the brainchild of a retired hospital administrator named Tom Hurst who penned a letter to the Minister for Health, requesting such a day. Hurst was fully aware of the potentially-fatal effects of smoking and believed it was necessary for parliament to implement a day that raised awareness of the issue. Unfortunately for Hurst, the reply he received back was less than encouraging; “The Minister feels he is unable to support campaigns which might mislead the public into assuming that a causal relationship between tobacco smoking and cancer had been definitely proved.” Of course, the Minister’s replied has been shown to be nonsense in the subsequent thirty years and it seems that more studies emerge on a daily basis that clearly demonstrate  how dangerous smoking is, being linked to many terminal cancers in addition to other serious health conditions such as multi-generational asthma, sudden cardiac death, osteoporosis and many more. Realising that many smokers are still ignorant to the damage they are doing to their bodies and turning a blind eye to it, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) have taken advantage of the yearly format to alternate the theme of the day, instead focusing on where else cigarettes can impact smokers – their pockets. Therefore, those who want to quit smoking are being encouraged to ‘Swap Fags for Swag’. The BHF have even listed the staggering amount of money that can be saved over the duration of a year by giving up, in addition to other more appealing things that the cash can be spent on. They say the financial gains of stopping smoking are: 1 day (£7): Two movie rentals or a new lipstick. 1 week (£49): A family cinema trip or a meal for two. 1 month (£210): A shopping spree or premiership football tickets. 3 months (£630): A new laptop or the latest flat screen TV. 6 months (£1,260): A leather suite or a home cinema. 1 year (£2,555): A new kitchen or a holiday of a lifetime. A main reason why the British Heart Foundation are involved in No Smoking Day is because smoking doubles a person’s risk of heart attack and a report they have recently conducted has found that an incredible 82% of smokers have at some point attempted to kick the habit and not succeeded. In total, 2010 smokers were surveyed and over one in ten commented they were ‘desperate’ to stop smoking. Moreover, 40% had tried to quit between four and 21 times. Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director for the BHF, said: “Every year more than 100,000 smokers die because of their addiction. This addiction can be incredibly hard to break and we hear time and again of smokers who are absolutely desperate to quit, they just don’t know where to start. The report reveals that a quarter of smokers are more motivated to give up for financial reasons rather than to benefit their health. The downward trend in smoking rates has plateaued in recent years, proving we need to renew our efforts to help our ‘final fifth’ quit. Often these are long-term smokers, or people surrounded by family, friends and colleagues who smoke. They’re harder to reach, and they’ll probably find it hard to quit. That’s why we all need to reinvigorate our efforts to help smokers and UK governments are part of the mix. We need investment in local stop smoking services and measures such as standardised packaging to help protect our children from the fatal addiction so many people are currently battling with.” Medical Specialists Pharmacy is able to help you quit smoking with the aid of the smoking cessation medication Champix, meaning you will both protect your health and save huge amounts of money in the future as the government continually raise tobacco prices. Champix mimics the effect of nicotine on the body, reducing the urge to smoke and relieving withdrawal symptoms. It can also decrease the enjoyment you experience of smoking if you are still smoking whilst on the treatment. The medication equates to just £75.00 per pack – inexpensive in comparison to the approximate £2,555 you can save by quitting smoking!