Smokers urged to quit for No Smoking Day by Medical Specialists® Pharmacy
4th March 2016
No Smoking DayApproximately 10 million people in the UK smoke (a sixth of the population), and frankly that is 10 million too many in Medical Specialists® Pharmacy’s opinion. After all, smoking-related conditions are responsible for the deaths of around 100,000 people each and every year. Even worse, half of all regular cigarette smokers will probably be killed by their addiction, with smoking being attributed to over a third of respiratory deaths, more than a quarter of cancer deaths, and about one seventh of cardiovascular disease deaths. This is perhaps unsurprising when one learns there are more than 4,000 chemicals contained in just a single cigarette. More worrying smoking statistics include the fact that two thirds of smokers light up for the first time before the age of 18 and of those who try smoking, at least a third will then go on to become regular smokers. For these reasons alone, Medical Specialists® are proud to support this year’s national No Smoking Day, which occurs each year on the second Wednesday in March, which will be 9 March for 2016. Each year there is a different theme and this year the theme is ‘Proud to be a quitter‘! So, for those who are thinking of quitting smoking why not visit the British Heart Foundation website to read the inspirational stories to help you along the way. The annual No Smoking Day campaign has been taking place every year since Ash Wednesday back in 1984, when it was called ‘Quit for the Day’. Although the name would suggest just a day of abstinence, this day of non-smoking was clearly aimed at being a starting point for a longer-term and more permanent quitting of smoking for everyone that took part. No Smoking Day was registered as a charity back in 1991 and in 2011 the charity was merged with the British Heart Foundation, who now organise the stop smoking awareness day. There are about 1 million smokers that use No Smoking Day as their springboard to stopping smoking. The No Smoking Day charity have previously claimed that about 1.5 million smokers have successfully managed to quit for good since its launch 32 years ago. Whilst government budgets for the public health environment are stretched to the maximum, No Smoking Day remains one of the most cost-efficient health interventions of its kind, but it does rely on smokers around the nation to participate to guarantee its success! Let’s not forget, there are countless reasons to quit smoking and it's never too late to stub out. Following a mere 24 hours of putting down the cigarettes, the lungs begin clearing out that build-up of tar and then after 3-9 months of abstinence, the lungs will now find they have the capacity to hold up to 10% more oxygen. In addition, there will be external benefits, such as better skin, hair, nails, etc.! Despite the overwhelming evidence that smoking is bad for the body in a multitude of ways, there are those who ignore the health risks. Therefore, this could explain why the British Heart Foundation have previously tried to connect to smokers in another way – highlighting the financial boost to be had from giving up. In the present day and age, surely it is unfeasible to be coughing up £10 for a packet of cigarettes on a regular basis? The British Heart Foundation even listed some of the things people could be able to treat themselves to with money saved from not buying cigarettes*. For example, after… 1 Day – £8.50: two movie rentals / a new lipstick / download a new album. 1 week – £59.50: a family cinema trip/ a pair of shoes / a meal for two. 1 month – £255: a shopping spree / Premiership football tickets / a weekend break. 3 months - £765: a new laptop or the latest flat screen TV. 6 months - £1,530: a leather suite / a home cinema / a top of the range bicycle. 1 year - £3,102.50: a new kitchen / designer jewellery / holiday of a lifetime. *Figures based on a 20-a-day smoker paying £8.50 per packet of 20 cigarettes. Moreover, people that give up smoking may also find themselves coming into extra money in other ways, such as now being eligible for cheaper life, home and car insurance due to their newfound non-smoker status. Finally, Medical Specialists® wish the best of luck to everyone taking part in next weeks No Smoking Day. There is plenty of help at hand, from the British Heart Foundation’s ‘I want to quit’ page, their links to a forum and various nationwide stop smoking services, to Champix smoking cessation treatment from Medical Specialists®, aiding the quest in a long-term quitting strategy. This treatment can be obtained following an online consultation with one of the Medical Specialists® GMC-registered doctors, or by sending in a private prescription.