Smoking and the effects of smoking has a huge impact on the lives of millions of people in the UK. The government frequently releases information, statistics, and health warnings in an effort to reduce the number of smokers.
The positive news is that the number of smokers in the UK has been decreasing for a number of years as awareness has increased. Another reason being the advancement in safe smoking cessation aids.
The health implications of smoking in the UK
The UK government has been very vocal about smoking being the leading cause of preventable illness and premature death in England. They state that lifelong smokers lose around 10 years of their lives on average, and half die prematurely.
The positive is that the number of smokers is at an all-time low. Between 2011 and 2017, the percentage of adults in England smoking dropped from 19.8% to 14.9%, which accounts for around 6.1 million people.
If this trend continues, by 2023 the percentage of adult smokers could be as low as 5%.
The financial impact of smoking on society
Health implications aside, smoking also has a huge financial impact on the NHS and therefore on society as a whole.
According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), on average around 1,300 smokers were admitted to hospital every day between 2016-2017. Smokers also see their GPs more often than non-smokers.
Smoking-related medical costs and costs associated with being unable to work due to illness are estimated to top more than £12.6 billion a year.
The ripple effect this has on society and the general public cannot accurately be measured, the reality is that the real value of smoking-related costs will be a lot higher.
Why nicotine is not the problem, but part of the solution
One of the biggest misconceptions amongst the general public, and even some health professionals, is that nicotine is one of the leading causes of smoking-related health issues.
The facts are that lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and cardiovascular disease are the three main causes of death from smoking.
None of which are caused by nicotine. Nicotine is known to be one of the more addictive substances in cigarettes, but it’s not one of the most harmful.
For this reason, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is one of the safest and most effective forms of smoking cessation aids. Nicotine can increase heart rate and blood pressure, but it’s not a carcinogen.
It can even be prescribed for use during pregnancy, such is the proof that nicotine does not pose any health risks when used in recommended amounts.
How NRT helps smokers quit
As mentioned above, the number of smokers are on the sharpest and longest decline the UK has ever seen.
The main reasons for this have been advancements in Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRTs). The facts are that around two-thirds of smokers say they want to quit. Most who try, do so without any aids, effectively going ‘cold turkey’.
Attempting to quit without any support or cessation aids is the least successful method. Doing so with the aid of NRT and other forms of support makes it three times more likely someone will successfully quit.
This is because NRT products contain a small amount of nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical, it’s the chemical that causes cravings and withdrawal symptoms when someone goes cold turkey.
By using NRT in the form of a patch, inhaler, nasal spray, or some other product, a person can keep their withdrawal symptoms at bay while not inhaling any of the harmful chemicals in cigarettes.
To learn more about inhaled nicotine and how they can help you quit smoking in a safer, and more reliable way, get in touch to speak with a member of the team.