It’s been 10 years since the smoking ban came into force, and what a change it has made. Not only have our towns and cities changed, but it seems our society is getting healthier too. Smoking rates have been falling and more people are turning to e-cigarettes as a way to try and quit. As one of the most significant changes for our health in recent years, how has the smoking ban made a difference since it launched?
The impact of the smoking ban
Public Health England have announced a number of positive developments since the smoking ban came into effect in 2007. Some of the key points include:
- The numbers of smoking-related heart disease deaths have fallen by 20.8%
- 14.5% less smokers died from a stroke.
- The number of smokers in the UK has fallen from 17.2% to 15.8%
- The average daily cigarette consumption is down to 11.3 cigarettes a day, the lowest since 1974.
With the number of smoking-related deaths falling, this signals good news for the NHS. In England, 79,000 deaths a year (equivalent to 1 in 6) are related to smoking, and with deaths from smoking being preventable, it’s hoped that this number could be reduced further over the next 10 years.
The next steps
While these are great figures to show that the number of smokers, and smoking related deaths is falling, more needs to be done to make sure the number continues to fall. Smoking is not only dangerous to the smoker’s health, but to those around them too – with passive smoking responsible for a number of deaths each year. It’s estimated that around 90% of lung cancers are caused by smoking, while other cancers such as mouth, throat, larynx and oesophagus are also predominantly caused by smoking. Heart disease, heart attacks, stroke and damaged blood vessels are all possible consequences of smoking, and could be prevented by giving up.
If you’re concerned about your health as a result of your smoking habits, you should know that giving up has almost instant benefits for your health. This means that you’ll experience clearer breathing, improved sense of taste and smell and better circulation within the first two weeks of giving up. After 10 years, the risk of developing lung cancer halves, and after 15 years the risk of having a heart attack becomes the same as someone who hasn’t smoked in their lives.
Getting help with quitting in East Berkshire
If you’ve been inspired to quit smoking, you’ll be glad to know that there’s a large choice of places to seek help in East Berkshire and the surrounding area. Some places to get help with quitting include:
You can also visit your local GP who will be able to advise you on quitting methods and ensure that you get the help you need to give up for good. Giving up will make a difference to your health, as well as your finances and appearance while helping to boost the health of those around you too.
For more information about giving up smoking, take a look at the NHS’s Smokefree campaign which has a range of great resources to help you quit.