You can give up smoking if you want to
IT is interesting to remember how Ireland has been a pioneer in tackling smoking, being the first country in the world to institute an outright ban on smoking in (all enclosed) workplaces on 29 March 2004 under the Public Health (Tobacco) Acts.
I like many one million other Irish Adults have given up smoking. It is now 11 years and counting and it feels good. I forget about it for the most part. I still have lots of friends that smoke and you probably do too. Currently 22 parent of Irish adults smoke. For 18 percent of the population, it is a daily habit and 4 percent do so occasionally. This works out at 830,000 smokers – which is fewer than the number of people who have quit! This is good news for any smoker–as if they can do it so can you if you want to.
This article is not intended to make smokers feel bad. Feeling guilty is never the answer – rather to empower and inspire you give up if you want to, and to motivate others to not start.
There are lots of good reasons to quit and or better, to not start.
Smoking is the number one cause of avoidable death in Ireland with one in every two smokers expected to die from a tobacco-related disease. Almost 6,000 people in Ireland die each year each year from the effects of smoking and many thousands of others suffer from smoking-related illness.
CONSEQUENCES of Smoking
It takes 10 to 15 quality years off your life when we break it down, every cigarette a smoker smokes, takes 5 and a half minutes off their life every 6 and a half seconds someone in the world dies from smoking – adding up to 1.5 million people a year most smokers (83%) regret starting smoking and say they wouldn’t start if they had the choice. (Source HSE)
The HSE also highlights that about one in five deaths in Ireland is related to smoking. Almost half of these deaths are connected to cancer while the other half are related to cardiovascular and respiratory conditions.
WHO SMOKES AND WHO QUITS?
Of those that do smoke, the rate is highest in the 25-34 age bracket and lowest (9%) for the over 75s. Men are more likely than women to smoke with 25% of men and 20% of women smoking.
A 2018 HSE survey also found that about one in eight people (12%) who smoked a year ago have quit since then. Forty five percent of those that quit did so through willpower and 37 percent through using e-cigarettes (which is only a partial solution).
While it can be difficult to quit, the cravings subside and the body readjusts after some days. Within a month, a person’s lung functions improves. There are powerful health benefits in line with the above. Your clothes and hair don’t smell. You save money. In my own case, the best thing about not smoking, is that there is no little monster in my head working how when I can have my next cigarette. I guess that is the same with any addition – that it takes you from enjoying the present moment. The freedom of that is priceless.
There are lots of resources out there to help you quit. People who get help are more likely to succeed. Will power really does work and the more times you try, the more likely you will be to succeed.
If you want to quit, help on how to quit can be found on the HSE’s Quit website or by calling the Quit Team on Freephone 1800 201 203 Calodagh McCumiskey designs and delivers bespoke wellbeing at work programmes to grow people and companies. She also offers regular meditation classes, personal development workshops and wellbeing consultations to help people thrive
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