Today is the World Health Organisation’s World No Tobacco Day.
The event was created to bring awareness to more people about the dangers and health risks of smoking tobacco, and ultimately, to stop use of tobacco around the world.
Many of us know smoking is believed to be the leading cause of throat and lung cancers, and a major risk factor in many other types of cancer. However, what is little known is that smoking tobacco is one of the main cause of heart problems and diseases.
Thankfully, smoking is coming down in England, thanks to all our hard work over many years – yet smoking is still our country’s number one killer. It’s also the single biggest medical reason why poorer people die sooner.
One job of the NHS is to help support the majority of smokers who want to quit. In England, around 60% of smokers want to quit, 10% of which intend to do so within 3 months. Currently, around half of all smokers in England try to quit unaided using willpower alone, despite this being the least effective method. Getting support can greatly increase a person’s chances of quitting successfully.
The NHS Long Term Plan includes dedicated funding for smoking cessation, not just for inpatients in acute settings, but also for pregnant smokers and their partners, and those with mental health conditions.
One in four patients in hospital beds are smokers. As well as leading by example, gains in health can be made by the taking every opportunity to engage those patients that smoke. Reducing smoking among patients can reduce hospital admissions, reduce the risk of premature death, and also lead to many benefits you might not realise – such as the effectiveness of some medications and increasing healing after operations.
Find out more about the services available to help stop smoking on the Trust’s website, including the support on hand for inpatients, here.