Smokers can help save Cornish communities £117m a year by quitting

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Smokers in Cornwall are encouraged to quit for good on No Smoking Day (Wednesday, March 10) to boost their mental and physical health.

Run by charity ASH the campaign called ‘Today is the day’ urges smokers to ditch the cigarettes from Wednesday.

It’s estimated there are around 63,010 adult smokers in Cornwall who puff their way through almost 530,000 cigarettes a day.

Evidence suggests the habit costs our communities a whopping £117.3m a year, including a £29.7m burden on the NHS.

Loss of productivity due to smoking is also said to cost Cornwall’s economy around £74.3m a year, of which £27m is lost because of smoking breaks and £11.3 million due to absenteeism.

Besides the health benefits, data suggests that smokers who successfully stub out their habit stand to save around £2,000 a year.

Dr Ruth Goldstein, public health consultant and deputy director of public health at Cornwall Council, said: “For smokers the stress of the pandemic has pulled them in two directions. On the one hand, the chances of successfully quitting are as high as they’ve ever been. But on the other, smokers experiencing stress and mental distress are more likely to light up.

“This No Smoking Day we want to take the opportunity to help smokers realise that quitting can be less stressful than they fear and can ultimately improve their wellbeing immeasurably. We all have less control over our lives than we’d like at the moment, but smokers can take some positive control on No Smoking Day and ditch their habit for good.”

Other facts and figures provided through ASH include:

  • People in Cornwall spend a total of £84.7m on smoking every year, which is around £2,050 per person
  • £10m a year is spent on smoking-related hospital admissions and £19.6m on treating smoking-related illnesses
  • Research also suggests smokers are 14 times more likely to develop serious breathing issues if they catch Covid-19 and are also more likely to spread the virus, due to sharing lighters on cigarette breaks and touching their faces while smoking.
  • Smokers who quit for 6 weeks or more are said to be happier and experience less anxiety and depression than those who carry on smoking.
  • Research shows that people who have quit smoking for a year are happier than those who continue to smoke.

For more information on quitting visit the Healthy Cornwall Smokefree web page or download the free NHS Smokefree app.

People can also sign up to receive stop smoking support bulletins.

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