As the Bank of England forecasts a recession of possibly 2 years and the current cost of living crisis and soaring inflation, what will it take for you to quit smoking?

How much do smokers spend on cigarettes?

On average, smokers smoke 20 cigarettes a day; with a packet of cigarettes costing £13.30 that’s a spend of £93.10 per week, or £4,841.20 per year. For that you could buy: A family holiday abroad, including hotel, flights and entertainment and spending money.

Ditch the Ash Save the Cash
Ditch the Ash Save the Cash

How much do smokers cost the NHS?

The cost of smoking to the UK Government is approximately £12.6 billion a year, made up of £1.4 billion spent on social care for smoking related care needs, £2.5 billion spent on NHS services and £8.6 billion of lost productivity in businesses. 

Public Health England
Public Health England

But what is smoking costing your health?

Smoking is one of the biggest causes of death and illness in the UK.

Every year around 78,000 people in the UK die from smoking, with many more living with debilitating smoking-related illnesses.

Smoking increases your risk of developing more than 50 serious health conditions.

Some may be fatal, and others can cause irreversible long-term damage to your health.

cancer research
cancer research

What is the life expectancy of a smoker?

If you are a long-term smoker, on average, your life expectancy is about 10 years less than a non-smoker. Put another way, in the UK about 8 in 10 non-smokers live past the age of 70, but only about half of long-term smokers live past 70.

What are smoking related diseases?

Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Smoking also increases risk for tuberculosis, certain eye diseases, and problems of the immune system, including rheumatoid arthritis.

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Lung Cancer

An estimated 86% of lung cancer deaths in the UK are causes by tobacco smoking.

Lung cancer risk is around 26 times higher in men who smoke 15-24 cigarettes per day, compared with people who have never smoked, a cohort study showed.

https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/lung-cancer/risk-factors#heading-Two

Around 25,000 deaths each year in England are attributable to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

COPD and Smoking

COPD is a serious lung disease and is not particularly well known. Yet it contributes to the deaths of almost 25,000 people a year. Nearly 90% of these COPD deaths are linked to smoking. COPD can also be a severely debilitating disease, dramatically affecting people’s breathing and leading to years of suffering. The single best thing a smoker can do to reduce their chances of developing this devastating disease and prolong their life, is to stop smoking.

COPD
COPD

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chronic-smoking-related-lung-disease-blights-over-1-million-lives-in-england

How does smoking affect your immune system?

Smoking can seriously affect your immune system. The truth is, your immune system helps your body defend itself from diseases and infections. It works to protect you from just about everything, from the common cold to life-threatening illnesses such as cancer.

However, smoking can weaken your immune system, meaning your body isn’t able to protect itself as well as it should. As a result, you’re more likely to become seriously unwell if you smoke.

The smoke from a single cigarette contains approximately 7,000 chemical compounds which can interfere significantly with your immune system, preventing it from working as it should. As a result, some diseases have the opportunity to develop and progress, putting your health and wellbeing at serious risk.

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Can the immune system recover from the effects of smoking?

The immune system of quitters is almost completely restored to a healthy state, according to the latest research from TwinsUK in collaboration with the Italian Institute for Genomic Medicine and the University of Turin.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2021.637974/full

Smoking can lead to loss of vision or blindness

Research has confirmed the harmful effects of smoking on eyesight, particularly in the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – one of the UK’s leading causes of sight loss – and cataracts. Smokers double their risk of developing AMD, and tend to develop it earlier than non-smokers.

Smoking causes nearly 20,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease in the UK every year.

The risk of heart attack is up to four times greater and the risk of stroke up to two times greater for smokers.

Heart Disease
Heart Disease

However, giving up smoking can almost immediately improve health as well as decrease some of these risks, and health benefits continue to build over the non-smoking period.

Smokers who switch to vaping could soon have ‘Healthier hearts’

Does smoking cause high cholesterol?

Smoking makes your LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) ‘stickier’ – so it clings to your artery walls and clogs them up. Smoking lowers your levels of HDL cholesterol (the good kind), which normally takes cholesterol away from the artery walls.

What is the most successful way to quit smoking?

E-cigarettes are now the most popular way to quit in the country with half of all those taking part in Stoptober last year using an e-cigarette. The evidence is clear – vaping is much less harmful than smoking, a fraction of the risk. So if you’ve struggled with quitting before, an e-cigarette may be the best option for you.

See also  Why are you still smoking?

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/highest-smoking-quit-success-rates-on-record

E-Cigarettes to quit smoking

There’s some confusion and misleading information about vaping, which can make it difficult to work out what’s true or not.

Nicotine vaping is substantially less harmful than smoking. It’s also one of the most effective tools for quitting smoking.

Vaping is not recommended for non-smokers and young people because it is not completely harmless.

Here you will find the facts on vaping, based on scientific evidence and research, plus advice on how to use vapes (sometimes called e-cigarettes or e-cigs) as a tool to quit smoking.

https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/quit-smoking/vaping-to-quit-smoking/

The Benefits of E-cigarettes / Disposable Vapes

An expert independent evidence review by Public Health England found that e-cigarettes are around 95% less harmful to health than tobacco and are effective as a tool to help smokers quit smoking. Vaping is a less harmful way to take in nicotine and the vapour contains few of the chemicals found in cigarette smoke – if they are present, they are at much lower levels. There is now also good evidence that e-cigarettes can help smokers quit and guidance to stop smoking services is that they should support people who want to quit this way. It’s a safer nicotine for tobacco harm reduction.

https://www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/smoking/vaping-e-cigarettes#:~:text=They%20don’t%20burn%20tobacco,to%20help%20people%20quit%20smoking.

Make the decision to quit tobacco smoking for yourself, your family and for your finances.