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Giving up smoking

After what we’ve been through it’s OK to feel differently, and as we enter a new normal it is more important than ever to look after our physical and mental wellbeing.

This week, Senior Health Improvement Officer, Lauren McLachlan, talks about giving up smoking.

We all know the dangers of smoking, it is written on the packet! Whatever your smoking status and however you feel about your own relationship with tobacco, the fact that you would not want the children in your life to start is an opinion most people share.

For years tobacco companies have been cashing in on the ‘lifer’- enticing the young in order to establish the lifelong addicted smoker. Children copy adult behaviour, as they grow they experiment with tobacco and due to the highly addictive properties of nicotine they become hooked. This has been the sad truth for generations.

Most smokers want to quit but find it difficult when tobacco is readily available and others are smoking around them.

Trying to quit can be stressful and it’s a common belief that smoking relieves stress but there is evidence that smoking tobacco actually increases stress and anxiety. And so smokers have higher levels of stress than non-smokers to start with, which doesn’t help.

Smokers are also more likely than non-smokers to develop depression over time.

We know that the majority of those who smoke are on lower incomes, many have poor mental and physical health, and most have children.

We also know that smoking causes the underlying health conditions that can make the effects of COVID-19 so much worse.

We need to de-normalise smoking so that we create a world where our children do not grow up thinking that smoking is acceptable and something they should do as well.

Nobody wants their children to have to experience the poor health, addiction cycles and financial struggles that so many smokers do.

As humans we all need smoke-free space and fresh air to breathe, both of which will also help all those who want to stop to have a better chance of quitting.

Over the last few years more and more smoke-free spaces have been created. Indoor areas are now smoke free, vehicles carrying children, so that we can protect them from second hand smoke.

Last month the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) held its Stoptober campaign -‘take a breather…’ The Department used the campaign to announce plans to create smoke-free grounds for all their sites including the hospital and its grounds from 1 April 2021.

Smoke-Free Isle of Man is not designed to stigmatise smokers or point a finger at those who struggle with probably one of the toughest addictions known. The Smoke-Free Isle of Man 2030 ambition has begun to support those who want to quit and to create smoke-free spaces for our children to grow up in.

If you want to talk to someone about smoking contact either myself  or the free Quit4You service for a chat with a Specialist Adviser on +44 1624 642404 or email