LATEST FIGURES REVEAL FEWER SMOKERS IN ENGLAND
We’re always cautious here at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic of new statistics (especially any to do with smoking) because we know figures can all too easily be interpreted in different ways and therefore be hijacked to support contrasting causes.
However, news that the proportion of smokers has fallen in England is heartening.
The Guardian headline was ‘Number of smokers in England drops to all-time low.’
This is to be welcomed but details behind the statistics still merit careful analysis. For example, while the percentage of smokers has fallen in the past five years the population as a whole has risen in the same period and so the number of smokers remain higher than might at first be imagined – there are still 7.2 million smokers in England. Even so this is less than half the number of ex-smokers (14.6million) so this is encouraging. It seems that combined efforts to convince people to quit cigarettes are having a positive effect.
FATAL CONSEQUENCES OF LIGHTING UP
The medical profession welcomes the latest findings, of course. But it points out that about 200 people still die prematurely every day in England as a consequence of smoking-related symptoms.
Professor Kevin Fenton, national director of health and wellbeing at Public Health England warned that although the “diminishing appeal of smoking” was “amazing” the number of people still lighting up remained a matter of concern.
There are other factors to consider, too. For example, regional differences are worrying. The North East and Yorkshire still have a significantly higher proportion of smokers compared to the South East and, in particular, the South West, which boasts the fewest smokers.
Other variants to be noted include wealth disparities with far more poorer people likely to smoke compared to the better off; people of Asian background are less likely to smoke (though 10 per cent do so); smoking is most prevalent among those of mixed race. The breakdown of the statistics goes on but among the many quotes generated by the issue, one of the most pertinent, we thought at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic, came from Rosana O’Connor, Public Health England’s director of of drugs, alcohol and tobacco, who said: “The more ex-smokers there are among your friends and family, the more likely you are to quit for good and the less likely your children are to start.”
Her words reflect the importance of others in our lives and how we all have responsibilities not only for ourselves but for those around us.
It is such sentiments that inspire us here at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic.