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Full Version: Weekly Debate 71 [Should all smoking be banned]
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What is No Smoking Day?
No Smoking Day is a National campaign that aims to aid those who want to stop smoking. It endeavours to help smokers stop the habit by creating a supportive environment for them to quit, and by highlighting various methods available to people who want to stop smoking.

No Smoking Day is held on the second Wednesday of every March, and now in its 24th year it is a firm fixture both in Gibraltar and the UK calendar because of its popularity with smokers - and its success. It is also a locally established and successful campaign, and is now in its 9th year!

Generally speaking, two out of three smokers would like to stop, and on No Smoking day nearly a million in the UK try and in the longer term an average of 40,000 succeed each year.

What is this year’s theme?
Two thirds of smokers want to stop and 83% wish they had never started smoking in the first place. No Smoking Day research with smokers has shown that people want to quit before they get ill but that the stench, the grime and the cost are everyday reminders about why they want to stop.

This year’s theme is about making a fresh start. It’s about making a change that improves the whole of your life. The campaign image reflects the stark difference between a smoke-filled and smoke-free life.

“Make a fresh start” is about waking up on No Smoking Day and starting a life that isn’t filled with bad health, bad breath, wasted money and stale smoke. The theme is about starting a fresh-smelling life, with more money to spend, better health and better looking skin and hair.

Why is smoking still a problem?
In the UK every year smoking still kills 120,000 people, most of them losing an average 16 years of life. Despite all that is known about tobacco's huge toll on our community's health, environment and opulence, it is still used by about 29% of adults in the UK. Most smokers take their first puffs in their mid-late teens, but the product is so addictive that most are still smoking many years later, wishing they could stop. Two thirds of smokers would like to stop - and there are now about 12 million ex-smokers in the UK. This trend is slowly rising in Gibraltar. By 2030, if current trends continue, smoking will kill one in six people.

What does Tobacco do?
Tobacco smoking causes many serious illnesses including cancers, heart disease, stroke, respiratory and circulatory disease. It causes impotence, complications to pregnancy, intestinal and fertility disorders, and many others.

No Smoking Day Aims to:

* Encourage and assist smokers who want to quit
* Make as many people as possible aware of the campaign
* Involve as many individuals and organisations as possible
* Help achieve national and local health targets

The Day's main messages:

* No Smoking Day is a good opportunity to stop
* Smokers can get help when they want to stop
* There are health and other benefits to stopping smoking

What the Day does!

* Spurs smokers into action.
* Appeals to smokers of all types - whatever their age, sex or social status - but particularly young smokers and less affluent smokers.
* Publicises and explains the help that smokers can get when they want to quit.
* Captures the attention of the media with lots of supportive TV, newspaper and radio coverage.

What it doesn't do!

* Try to force smokers to stop - it's for people who are already interested in doing something about their smoking
* Harass smokers - it's not about banning smoking, or picking on smokers Work in isolation - smokers need support before and after the Day too

What do smokers want from the day?
At least two thirds of smokers want to stop some day, but many are ambivalent about trying – usually for fear of failing. They rarely need to be urged to stop, and hate being hassled – what they want is clear-cut, non-judgemental, real help. They appreciate the opportunity that No Smoking Day presents, but worry that a single day risks trivialising the scale, difficulty and length of the task they face in stopping smoking.

Target Audiences
No Smoking Day aims to reach all smokers. The Governments White Paper called "Smoking Kills" identifies three groups in which they would like to see a reduction in the number of smokers - pregnant women and their partners, young people and people on low incomes. Local organisers sometimes tailor their No Smoking Day work to contribute to these targets. We can use the Day to work with specific groups of smokers, e.g. working with midwives to help pregnant women and their partners who want to quit.

However, No Smoking Day aims to provide an opportunity to stop smoking for anyone and everyone who wishes to do so - the Day is for all smokers.

Results of No Smoking Day 2006 in the UK

* 77% of regular cigarette smokers over the age of 16 in Great Britain expressed some interest in stopping smoking
* 68% of smokers in Great Britain were aware that 8 March 2006 was No Smoking Day
* 35% of smokers in Great Britain aware of the Day responded positively to it, with 17% making a quit attempt
* Women were most likely to have tried to stop smoking on No Smoking Day with 17% of those aware of the Day making a quit attempt compared to 16% of men
* Quit attempts were highest among the 16-24 age group. 25% of those aware of the Day in this age group tried to stop
* Quit attempts were highest in the AB social class with 20% of those aware of the Day trying to quit. DE smokers were the second highest group with 19% of those aware attempting to quit
* Quit attempts on the Day were highest among smokers of between 6 and 10 cigarettes a year. In this group 27% of those aware of No Smoking Day tried to stop. 12% of smokers of 21 or more cigarettes a day tried to stop
* A minority of smokers are alienated by the campaign. Overall, 7% of smokers aware of the Day say they smoked more on No Smoking Day. This is lower than in previous years and is highest amongst male smokers and AB smokers
* 53% of the general public recalled seeing some publicity for No Smoking Day 2006. This increased to 55% for regular smokers

Smoking and Pregnancy
Thirty per cent of pregnant women in the UK smoke and are unable to quit at this time due to nicotine addiction, combined with a strong emotional and physical dependence on cigarettes.

Nicotine is a powerful and addictive drug that keeps smokers hooked. Within a few seconds of taking in tobacco, dopamine (a chemical in the brain associated with pleasure) is stimulated. To maintain this pleasurable feeling a certain level of the drug is needed in the bloodstream, which results in the smoker wanting a ‘fix’.
It’s worthwhile to stop smoking at any time during pregnancy. Not only can health improvements to both mother and baby be made straight away by quitting, but several health risks can also be prevented.

Researchers at Aahus University Hospital in Denmark (2002) found that up to 40 per cent of all Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (cot death) could be avoided if pregnant women stopped smoking. Giving up smoking could also avoid risking lower birth weight, increased mortality, miscarriage, and deficiency in minerals and vitamins vital for foetal development, premature delivery and reduced lung function in children when they grow up.

Men and Smoking
Extreme is the way to go - extreme muscles, extreme sport and extreme sex, but to perform successfully you need extreme health too. So that counts smokers out, as there is strong evidence to demonstrate that nearly all physical performance factors are made worse by smoking - even Mr Indestructible cannot bypass the effects of smoking.

Puffing away can also ruin your sex life, as recent studies prove that smoking creates hormonal imbalances that decrease libido. In addition to hormonal imbalances, it is estimated that up to 120,000 30 to 40 year old men in the UK are impotent as a direct consequence of smoking. Studies have shown that smokers are more than twice as likely to become impotent as non-smokers and smoking compounds the risk of impotence in men with high blood pressure.

Giving up the nicotine addiction can increase your performance.

Do you want to help someone give up smoking?

No matter what you do, you can’t force someone to stop if they don’t want to. But if your friend/partner/relative wants to give it a go, you can try to make things a bit easier for them. Here are some ideas for how you can help your friend/partner/relative kick the habit on No Smoking Day:

* Discuss their habit and their commitment to stopping.
* Don’t threaten, nag or lecture about the dangers of smoking – focus on the benefits they’ll get if they give up. E.g. more money, better health.
* Show your companion that you care and have an interest in keeping them healthy.
* Take a trip down to your local pharmacist with them to find out if any of the NRT treatments available could work for them.
* Send a card on the Day to wish them good luck.
* Make up a Kiss it Goodbye survival kit to help them through the Day. It could include a leaflet or booklet about how to stop smoking, sugar free gum, low calorie snacks like carrots and fruit, distractions such as games or puzzles, a toothbrush and toothpaste and a treat (such as a ticket to the cinema for the end of the day).
* Take them out to breakfast.
* If temptation strikes, remind them why they decided to stop. Stress the benefits of stopping rather than the dangers of smoking.
* Be sympathetic during the hard times – it’s common to be edgy when stopping smoking.
* Slip-ups are normal but having one or two cigarettes doesn’t mean failure. Help your companion to get back their motivation ant to look out for danger situations in the future.
* Plan an evening activity that avoids the temptation to smoke – perhaps swimming or the cinema. It’s probably best to avoid the pub if they normally associate smoking with alcohol.

So is there any change?
Smoking rates have reduced dramatically since the links with disease became better understood. The rates have reduced because adults are giving up smoking - sadly, many thousands of young people still begin to smoke every year. The biggest change in recent years has been the development of expert services for people who want to stop smoking, and a range of effective treatments that can help deal with nicotine withdrawal and cravings. Smokers no longer have to go it alone when they want to stop. Nearly a million smokers try to stop on No Smoking Day each year.

Is there any action on smoke free environments in Gibraltar?
Yes, The Health Promotion Group has presented a 20-point plan to government on the issue of working towards a smoke free society. However, this has been ongoing since 2004 with little support or consideration.

No Smoking Day in Gibraltar
A stand at the ICC foyer will mark No Smoking Day 2007 on 14th March at 10.00 – 13.30. Literature will be available as well as advice from various health professionals.

It`s generally an accepted fact that smoking does nobody any good. That`s apart from the governments who get their share of a hefty tax revenue out of it, and those actually involved in the commercial side of it - tobacco growing, distribution, selling etc.

The question is, should tobacco be treated just like any other drug and made illegal in just the same way? A smoking ban in public in some countries has already come into effect, so why stop there? Why should non-smokers have to suffer at the hands (or mouths) of those who do smoke?

It`ll never happen fully of course, but out of interest vote for one of the options.
Having failed numerous times at giving up the nicotine, forbidding tobacco sales would probably work for me and millions of others.

How ironic that some medications are taken off the shelves or removed from the market because of their unknown side effects when first distributed, yet, after killing hundreds of millions, tobacco sales go on and on. The tobacco industry sure has some pull and governments double-standards when it comes to health and tax money from sales.
True, when one considers the huge drain on health resources both from a manpower and financial point of view in dealing with smoking related diseases. And of course it isn`t just the smoker, passive smoking causes untold misery for those who have no choice in the matter.
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