Way back in 1962, the Royal College of Physicians launched a telling report on the dangers of smoking in a blaze of publicity, using what was then a new technique – the press conference.
But the report’s authors needed to be innovative to get their message across to a public – and politicians – who probably didn’t want to hear it, said the BBC, after all, most of them were smokers.
In 1962, about 70% of men and 40% of women in the UK smoked wherever they liked – on trains and buses, at work, even in schools and hospitals.
These days, smoking has become a minority occupation with the busy street outside the pub or office now the smokers’ domain and in 2015, only about 21% of men and women smoke.
Smokers, once comfortably in the majority, now find themselves on the outside.
Despite this, the website Patient points out that cigarette smoking is still the greatest single cause of illness and premature death in the UK.
About 100,000 people in the UK die each year due to smoking. Smoking-related deaths are mainly due to cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and heart disease.
About half of all smokers die from smoking-related diseases and a long-smoker can anticipate that their life expectancy is about 10 years less than a non-smoker.
Put another way, in the UK about 8 in 10 non-smokers live past the age of 70 but only about half of long-term smokers live past 70.
The younger you are when you start smoking, the more likely you are to smoke for longer and to die early from smoking.
Many people are actively attempting to quit smoking, changing to e-cigarettes or using nicotine patches. However, these measures are not always effective.
Hypnotherapy, on the other hand, has a proven track record in smoking cessation and the National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) has 1800 qualified and highly-trained therapists around the UK who can help people beat this habit.
Hypnotherapy is so effective that the physical addiction to cigarettes can be over after just one week. But while there might be a need for more sessions, research shows that by quitting smoking with hypnosis a person is three times more likely to give up than if they used nicotine patches. This will vary according to the habit the hypnotherapist is working with you on.
Smoking is a habit that a person can give up for good, so the therapist may use what is known as aversion techniques which will put the smoker off having another cigarette.
If you want to quit smoking and become part of the majority living a healthier life, look up an NCH therapist near you by using the NCH directory.
Consider the desperate situation of some prisoners in Australia who, this week, lit fires, broke walls and smashed windows in a 15-hour riot at a Melbourne prison in a reaction to a smoking ban.
It was one of the worst prison riots in recent memory, said the BBC, and authorities and commentators moved quickly to either condemn or support the state-wide prison smoking ban.
Western Australian Corrective Services Minister Joe Francis says his state won’t be following the Victorian model yet.
“As a former smoker, I can tell you it’s a bloody difficult habit to kick,” he told a Perth radio station. “Prisoners are sent to prison as punishment not for punishment.”