UK & World News
Social Smokers 'In Denial' Over Their Habit
Almost a quarter of smokers believe they only have a social habit despite the fact many smoke six to 20 cigarettes a day, new research reveals.
A poll of 2,000 smokers found 24% class themselves as social smokers - but more than one in three of these buy up to a packet a day.
Around 60% of all those questioned said they have tried giving up in the past, with women being slightly more likely than men to have tried quitting.
One in six of those who had attempted to stop smoking succeeded for over a year but then slipped back to their old habits.
Some 13% said part of the reason they took up smoking again was because their friends smoked and they did not like being left alone on nights out.
Of those who did go back to smoking, 47% said they had initially cut down how many cigarettes they smoked.
The poll also found that 54% of smokers admitted to smoking in banned areas, such as indoors in public spaces.
Catherine Cox, primary care manager at The Co-operative Pharmacy, which carried out the poll, said: "The smoking ban in public places has had a major effect on the health of the nation with a significant number of people giving up.
"But many smokers are convincing themselves they are consuming less tobacco than they actually are by classing their habit as a 'social' one.
"People see it as more acceptable to be a social smoker than admitting they regularly light up each day, even though our research shows that this is the case.
"Just smoking a few cigarettes a day has an impact on your health and the wellbeing of those around you."
Public Health England's national director of health and wellbeing, Kevin Fenton, offered this advice: "There are a variety of different ways to help people stop smoking and it is important that everyone finds a way that works for them.
"Pharmacists are easily accessible and well-placed to offer ongoing support, keeping motivation levels high along the way."
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