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Smoking still a threat

April 2017

stop smoking sign

When we were young smoking was still fashionable; indeed for many of us taking that first puff was the entry to a new sophisticated world!

How wrong we were…it is well documented now the terrifying harm smoking does to our long-term health.

A new report has been published by the Office of National Statistics and the good news is that across the UK in 2015, the last year for which figures are available, only 17.2% of adults smoked. This is down from 20.1% five years before. Also good news is that the biggest decrease has been among the 18 to 24 year olds, which augurs well for the future health of the nation.

As always, more men smoke than women…19.3% of men compared with 15.3% of women; but the figures show that the average cigarette consumption among both men and women smokers is now http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/causes-of-cancer/smoking-and-cancer/how-to-stop-smokingdown to just over 11 cigarettes a day.

With 2.3 million people using e-cigarettes, it shows that the health warnings on smoking are having good effect.

But globally the picture is still very worrying indeed. In another new report on smoking, this time from the respected medical journal The Lancet, it seems smoking causes one in 10 deaths worldwide.

Four countries are responsible for around half of the deaths…China, Russia, India and America. Interestingly, in Russia the biggest rise in smokers has been among women. Other worrying statistics show that smoking is on the rise in parts of Africa.

"Despite more than half a century of unequivocal evidence of the harmful effects of tobacco on health, today, one in every four men in the world is a daily smoker," said senior author of the report Dr Emmanuela Gakidou.

"Smoking remains the second largest risk factor for early death and disability, and so to further reduce its impact we must intensify tobacco control."

But it is not all bad news and some countries are gradually seeing real success. Brazil for instance has seen the percentage of daily smokers drop from 29% to 12% among men and from 19% to a low 8% among women.

An interesting list is on a Wikipedia page from 2014. We can’t verify the accuracy here but it gives a good indication of how countries are doing on the smoking front.

There are also interesting charts on the Regional Tobacco Cessation Programme.

If you are looking for help to try and stop smoking, Cancer Research UK has some useful information.

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