Smoking Kills One a Day

Get Reading
30 September 2008
     

One person dies every day in Reading from smoking.

The town has 35,700 smokers and in Reading, 24.3 per cent of the adult population smoke, which is in line with the national average, and only 1,637 people have quit for more than two weeks in 2007/8.

The stark truth is being hammered home to smokers in the town who are putting their lives at risk by sparking up according to figures released by the Local Health Profiles, collated by a national body called the Association of Public Health Observatories.

The Local Health profile for 2008 reveals on average in Reading, one person a day dies from smoking. And in the South Central NHS region, which includes Berkshire, 15 people a day die from smoking.

Penny Henrion, who chairs the Berkshire West Primary Care Trust attended Royal Berkshire Hospital’s governors meeting on Thursday last week to discuss efforts to reduce the figures.

She said: “We are working at the preventative side of things and, as a PCT, we really want to target the number of smokers.

“If there is one cancer out there that we can prevent through getting people to change their lifestyle, it is lung cancer through smoking.

“I think we need to work really hard to speak to people one-to-one to tell them the exact dangers of smoking.

“When patients go into the hospital, I don’t think people quite realise the impact smoking has on their health overall.

“A broken bone, a wound, all healing is slowed by smoking and actually, when patients are told about this when they face not getting better as quickly as they might, they stop smoking.

“We really want to get this message out there, smoking makes a difference to healing and health, awareness of this is pretty low so we want to work with the hospital to get this message out to every patient.”

Nicholas Hall, from the Stop Smoking Service at Berkshire West PCT, said: “The attitude and awareness of the damage to health has been raised overall nationally, and I think that is filtering through to all age groups.

There is no benefit to smoking, in terms of health or financially.

“We have got services available to anyone in Berkshire West who wants to use them, and we would really encourage people to come to us and quit.

“We have a higher than average success rate in getting people to quit, 57 per cent overall compared to 51 per cent nationally. So we do help.”

The number of smokers has fallen since 2006/7 from 28.8 per cent to 24.3 per cent in 2007/8, although all health advisers agree that more people need to quit.

From tomorrow smokers will be faced with the reality of their deadly choice to smoke with graphic illustrations on cigarette packs including pictures of rotting teeth and lungs, throat cancer and death – all things caused by smoking.

The warnings illustrate the devastating effects that tobacco can have on health and aims to curb the smoking epidemic, which kills 55 people a day and 389 people a week in the South East.

Jo Locker, Tobacco Control manager for the South East Public Health Group, said: “Just as we saw with the introduction of the written warnings, the picture packs will provide smokers with another motivation to quit.


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Reference link: http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/local-news/smoking-kills-one-every-day-4248720