Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death in the UK, and accounts for almost 100,000 deaths each year. Reducing the number of smokers is therefore a key health priority, with the NHS, Westminster government, and local authorities all attempting to stop young people from taking up the habit and to help those that already smoke to give up.
Here are five ways the authorities are trying to reduce smoking prevalence within the UK.
One of the first and foremost strategies that the government is relying on to fight this war against smoking is conducting seminars and awareness programs across the country. This can help to prevent people of all ages from restraining from smoking, and most critically protect the nation’s younger population from becoming addicted to nicotine for life.
Seminars and awareness campaigns have been effective in reducing the number of smokers as well as letting people know about the side effects of this habit and have helped authorities to also promote other elements of a healthy lifestyle alongside.
Comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising and sponsorship has significantly reduced the impact of tobacco companies on popular culture. A couple of decades ago. Tobacco companies sponsored everything from sports teams to live music events and were able to associate themselves with the fun and exciting parts of life. They no longer have this outlet available to try and entice new smokers.
Encouragement and support to quit
Another one of the many things that are turning out to be quite helpful in combating smoking and other similar activities is by providing support. By initiating several different support programs, the local authorities are helping people to get rid of this dangerous habit.
In these support programs, the smokers are encouraged to quit by informing them about the adverse effects of smoking on their own health as well as its impact on those around them, especially their children or grandchildren. This hard-hitting message can turn out to be really effective in persuading smokers to protect their health as well as increase compliance with non-smoking laws. Several mass media campaigns and support groups are also there to convince people to stop smoking tobacco.
Alongside the “stick” of health warnings, smokers are also encouraged to quit with the help of services from local councils and the NHS, including group stop-smoking support sessions and other medical aids and treatments to help beat the habit.
When tobacco users become more aware of the dangers, they are likely to quit. However, another one of the many great ways to encourage them to stop smoking is by providing alternate solutions to them- especially the chain smokers.
In recent years, e-cigarettes have become a very popular stop smoking aid in the UK. Vapes do not burn tobacco and therefore do not produce tar or carbon monoxide, two of the most damaging elements in tobacco smoke, but still offer smokers nicotine with a similar habit. Smokers can also choose to reduce the amount of nicotine in their e-cigarette slowly over time, the best vapes for heavy smokers containing less than 3% of total nicotine, which is significantly less than tobacco cigarettes.
E-cigarettes can satisfy a smoker’s craving for nicotine and are much less harmful to their health and the health of those around them. However, they should be avoided by non-smokers and are illegal to sell to those under 18 due to the risks and addictive nature of nicotine.
Another way to discourage people taking up smoking is to increase prices. In the UK, the government adds tax of 16.5 per cent of the retail price plus £5.26 on a packet of 20 cigarettes, which has pushed the price of a single cigarette in the UK to over 60p, with the government putting the tax to use in funding the NHS and other services.
There is an argument for further increasing the price of cigarettes to put them further out of reach of young people, but authorities are also careful to try not to punish those already addicted by forcing them to pay too high a price.
Nonetheless, increasing the taxes on tobacco has turned out to be a cost-effective way to decrease the use of tobacco as well as associated health care costs, particularly when it comes to the younger generations.
Smoking continues to have a detrimental impact on the health of millions of people in the UK, but through outreach campaigns, advertising, legislation, and support the number of new people taking up the habit continues to fall year-on-year and thousands of people manage to give up tobacco every month.