Smokers need 'more to help them quit'

13 September 2011

More needs to be done to help smokers quit, according to the Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) health charity.

Martin Dockrell, director of policy and research at Ash, claimed that despite the falling tobacco addiction rate - which currently stands at 20 per cent of adult males, down from 40 per cent in 1980 - the issue still needs to be tackled.

He argued that around 66 per cent of smokers say they want to kick the habit and 40 per cent often try but fail to do so as it "can be tough and more quitters will have to try more than once".

"[Smoking is] the largest cause of preventable death, bigger than alcohol, obesity, Aids and road traffic accidents put together," Mr Dockrell stated, adding that just over five per cent of all NHS spending is down to tackling tobacco-related illnesses alone.

A study published in the Lancet in August found that women who smoked were roughly 25 per cent more likely to develop major heart problems and cardiovascular diseases. It added that the inclusion of female perspectives in all tobacco-control policies is crucial.

Posted by Edward Bartel

1 Huxley, Rachel R., Woodward, Mark, " Cigarette smoking as a risk factor for coronary heart disease in women compared with men: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies". The Lancet, Early Online Publication. Thursday August 11th 2011.

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