There is no doubt that smoking can have serious consequences for a person’s health, but just how much effect can it have on your life expectancy?
Researchers at ‘Action on Smoking and Health’ have reported that a 30-year-old smoker can expect to live about 35 more years, whereas a 30-year-old non-smoker can expect to live 53 more years. In addition, the children of a parent or parents who smoke may be at risk from the genetic damage done to the parent before conception (because of their previous smoking), the direct effects to them in the womb, and the passive smoke they are exposed to after they are born.
There are some 1.1 billion people who smoke on our planet earth. Just less than one-third of all adults in the world smoke regularly. Tobacco deaths will not only occur in old age but will start when smokers are about age 35. Half of those who die from smoking-related causes will die in middle age, each losing about 25 years of life expectancy. More than 95% of the tobacco consumed is in the form of cigarettes. About half of all smokers who undergo lung cancer take up smoking again.
Source: Dying to Quit,” a 1998 book by Janet Brigham
Quitting smoking at any age offered benefits, and the earlier a person quit, the better, according to the findings. The analysis found that when compared to peers who had never smoked:
- Smokers who quit between ages 15 to 34 had about the same risk of dying from heart disease or stroke;
- Those who quit between ages 35 to 44 had about a 20% higher risk;
- Those who quit between ages 45 to 54 had about a 60% higher risk;
- Those who quit between ages 55 to 64 had about a 70% higher risk of death from heart disease or stroke; and
- Those who were current smokers had nearly three times the risk of dying prematurely from heart disease or stroke.
Smokers’ need for health and social care at a younger age than non-smokers also creates costs, with smoking costing the NHS an additional £2.4bn and a further £1.2bn in social care costs. This includes the cost of care provided in the home and, for the first time, residential care costs. However, many of smokers’ care needs are met informally by friends and family. It’s estimated that to provide paid-for care to meet needs would cost society a further £14bn this is not included in the overall £17bn figure but illustrates the wider burden of smoking beyond pounds and pence.
Smoking-related fires are the leading cause of fire-related deaths, and the costs of property damage, injuries and deaths amount to another £280m.
These figures represent profound losses to individuals and their families with smokers paying the price of addictions established in childhood throughout their lives.
Smokers also lose a large part of their income to tobacco an estimated £12bn in England each year, or approximately £2,000 per smoker. While the tobacco industry argue that what smokers pay in tax compensates for the cost to society, the excise tax paid for 2020/21 totalled just under £10bn in England, higher than in previous years but still nowhere near the £17.04bn it cost society in 2019.
After the UK Government set out its ambition for England to be smoke-free by 2030, ASH published a Roadmap to a Smoke-free 2030 which has been endorsed by 74 organisations and 604 individuals. The Government adopted the Roadmap’s recommendation for a new Tobacco Control Plan to deliver the 2030 ambition. The Plan is under development and due to be published later this year.
2030 is seven years away; calculate how much longer you will live and how much money you will save by quitting smoking now.
Whatever age you are, whatever health you are in, it’s never too late to quit smoking.
How do I quit smoking?
How vaping can help you quit
E-cigarettes and vapes are electronic devices that let you inhale nicotine in a vapour instead of smoke. This is done by heating a solution (e-liquid) that typically contains propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine, flavourings and nicotine.
E-liquids come in different nicotine strengths, so you control how much nicotine you need to help with cravings and other withdrawal symptoms, such as feeling irritable and having low mood.
Nicotine itself is not very harmful and has been used safely for many years in medicines to help people stop smoking.
Help break the routines of smoking cigarettes
The routines and rituals of smoking can be hard to stop, so vaping can help you gradually let go of these while immediately reducing the health risks of smoking cigarettes.
Some people find vaping helps them because the hand-to-mouth action is like smoking, plus you get similar sensations, like throat hit (the “kick” in the back of your throat when you inhale).
Any smoking is harmful and you will only get the full benefits of vaping if you stop smoking completely. Some people manage to make a full switch very quickly, while for others it can take a bit longer.
Did you know?
You’re roughly twice as likely to quit smoking if you use a vape compared with other nicotine replacement products, like patches and gum.
You can find your local stop smoking services here:
If you decide to go down the vaping route, e-cigarettes / disposable vapes are a great starting point and very cheap to start before you go out and spend money on expensive machines, tanks, coils and e-juice etc.
They also fit into your pocket or handbag discreetly rather than carrying around a vaping machine.
There is a vast array of disposable vapes to choose from with 100’s of different flavours, it’s virtually impossible to not find a flavour you like.
We are happy to work alongside the “Stop Smoking Service” on your journey to become smoke-free.
We are available to recommend and consult on which devices and flavours may suit you best and offer discounts for regular and new customers alike.
We can also give you a guide on “What to expect when you stop smoking and start vaping.”
On the 15th January 2023 I will be one year smoke-free, making me an ex-smoker.
How did I quit smoking?
Simply by switching to disposable vapes. I also used the stop smoking service but was already 2 weeks smoke-free and after receiving telephone support for a couple of months I didn’t need the service any longer so gave up my place so they can help someone else quit smoking.