Do you smoke?

  Forum Editor 23:21 28 Mar 2011

I was shocked to learn that 100,000 people in Britain still die from smoking-related causes each year, and that one of every two life-long smokers will be killed by their habit.

Is there a way to deal with this, other than adopting the school-teacher approach, and just banning tobacco sales altogether, or do we accept that in a democratic society there will be people who are addicted to certain substances, and the rest of us must bear the financial burden of their health care?

Smokers might argue that the amount of duty they pay on their tobacco more than compensates for the cost of any NHS treatment they might need, but of course that isn't the full extent of the cost to society.

  cycoze 23:32 28 Mar 2011

I gave up 4 years ago after smoking for 31 years, the last ten of those years saw me smoking 40 100mm's a day.

I always thought that I paid way too much in duty, but realise that to keep someone in hospital on ventilators for a few weeks cost a huge amount more.

I decided I wanted to give up for my health and wealth, found it very hard to do and only succeeded with patches, lozenges and a great deal of support and understanding from my family.

Still find that I fancy a smoke at times, especially after a meal or drink with friends, but happy not to do it.

On the plus side, I don't wheeze when climbing the stairs, or cough so much.

  WHTDSOB 23:33 28 Mar 2011

if they still wish to smoke. They have been hit hard by not smoking in the work place, not allowed in the pub. Hopefully the future plans of placing smoking products under the counter and in plain wrapping may deter future smokers.

Most smokers want to give up but find it hard.

I went via my doctor to a smoking cessation group 5 years ago. After 40 years, I gave up.

  Graham. 23:34 28 Mar 2011

I don't now. I stopped 20 years ago when I realised the truth. I'd just bought 200 Marlborough.

  DANZIG 23:36 28 Mar 2011

I know its bad for me and I have tried to give up and no doubt will do again but it is hard.

I don't think banning the sale of tobacco would solve anything, heroin is illegal - people can still get hold of that (untaxed of course).

Much the same as an alcoholic will drink even though they know its doing them serious harm - us smokers will continue to do so, thats human nature. Swinging price increases, just like in the recent budget, has certainly helped cut the amount I smoke down - but I'm a drug addict, so I will always crave the drug of my choice (tobacco) and pretty much pay anything!

  Proclaimer 23:40 28 Mar 2011

I think we should force the tobacco companies to remove the nicotine (and any other addictive concoctions they introduce) from the cigarettes.

Perhaps then those that want to give up will find it easier and those that just want to smoke, well they can.

  Proclaimer 23:42 28 Mar 2011

PS, I'm an ex-smoker

  Forum Editor 23:44 28 Mar 2011

It's the nicotine in tobacco that makes it addictive - remove that and there would be no point in smoking.

Tobacco companies don't introduce other 'addictive concoctions' into cigarettes - why would they need to, when nicotine does a very effective job?

  john bunyan 23:45 28 Mar 2011

No, I do not - never have. In younger days used to be pretty fit and smoking was a non issue. If others want to smoke or drink too much it is up to them but I object to paying extra if their choice costs more to the NHS than their contributions through taxes. Also I do not want to be subjected to passive smoking nor be put off visiting town centres due to drunken behaviour, nor to have A&E departments treat drunks ahead of non self - inflicted problems.

  Forum Editor 23:47 28 Mar 2011

Thank you for a very frank post. You really put the situation in a nutshell - tobacco addicts would get their fix, no matter what action might be taken to deter them.

I think the real thrust of any deterrent policies has to be directed at young people who haven't started smoking. Get them to resist, and within a generation there wouldn't be a problem.

  Dragon_Heart 23:48 28 Mar 2011

My Father in law, who died some 10 years ago had one lung removed about 20 years ago … he worked in a power station, on navy ships at the end of the 2nd world war, sprayed cars without a mask and, until his operation, a 60+ a day smoker. He told me that after his op he was watching a man who had recently had a similar op standing on the hospital ward balcony chuffing away on a cigarette !

Ban tobacco ? Never happen in my lifetime. Too much money, tax and jobs involved in the industry. I know of some surgeons who have refused to operate unless the patient gives up smoking but most smokers have little or no willpower. My brother in law and sister in law both still smoke even after they saw what happened to their Dad plus two out of three of my sister in laws children also smoke.

If tobacco had been 'invented' in the past 20 years it would have become a banned substance.

My idea would be to put a hefty HNS tax on the tobacco companies in the hope they would diversify into something else.

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