Things To Do Before You Die

Approximately 340,000 adults smoke or 24% of the adult population.  Whilst there has been a decrease in the number of adults smoking over the past 2 decades, 24% is still far too high especially compared to places such as Australia where approximately 19% of adults smoke and California where around 13% of adults smoke. Dr Carolyn Harper, PHA Director of Public Health, said, “Although we have seen a reduction in smoking rates there is still some way to go. For example, we know that 34% of semi skilled and 36% of unskilled manual workers currently smoke.  This new campaign aims to raise awareness of the health effects of smoking and the range of smoking cessation support that is available. What we want to see is an increase in the numbers of adult smokers making a quit attempt. “Three-quarters of smokers want to quit but need support to motivate them into action. The good news is that when a smoker does quit, the benefits start immediately. Within 24 hours, carbon monoxide will disappear completely from your system and within 48 hours, there is no nicotine left either. This is just the start of the repair process and the enormous positive effects that those who quit will experience. Dr. Harper added, “In developing the campaign our work with smokers showed that the most effective messages were those that contained personal stories about how it feels to experience a smoking related illness – not just for the smoker but also the impact it can have on families. Health is the main reason smokers attempt to quit and encouragement from family, in particular children, is a key motivating factor. ” Speaking at the launch of the campaign Chief Medical Officer, Dr Michael McBride, said, “The battle to reduce the appalling toll of premature death and avoidable illness caused by tobacco is a huge challenge. Together with the PHA, the Department has made good progress in recent years, such as the introduction of smoke-free legislation and the increase in age-of-sale requirements. Dr McBride continued, “However, much more needs to be done to tackle smoking rates in Northern Ireland. Our emphasis will continue to be on discouraging young people from taking up smoking, helping smokers to quit and protecting the public from harm caused by tobacco smoke. It is important to remember that quitting smoking is the single most important decision you will ever make.” The Public Health Agency is encouraging anyone interested in quitting to contact the cessation Helpline on 0808 812 8008 for advice and support.]]>