Archive | October, 2012

Stoptober- our support for the health of our nation.

1 Oct

Today, there are approximately 8 million smokers in the UK. And that number is increasing immaculately. Smoking is the major cause of premature Deaths in the UK. And it is up to us, as a nation, to support the smokers into quitting this fatal habit. And so the British Heart foundation, and Cancer research UK have supported the idea of stoptober. Stoptober commences in October and lasts for 28 days, in which Smokers should try to quit smoking for the full month. From first glance, you’re probably thinking what is this nonsense? However, it is scientifically proven that a smoker is 5 times more likely to quit smoking after successfully not smoking for 28 days. In other words, completing stoptober may be just what the people need to help them save their own lives.
A single cigarette contains over 4,000 different chemicals, of which 69 of them are carcinogenic (cause cancer). One of the components in cigarettes which is harmful is carbon monoxide. Once it enters the blood, it combines with the haemoglobin in the red blood cells; this means that the haemoglobin is less likely to pick up oxygen (which is its normal role). The compound which is formed is called carboxyhaemoglibin. The effects of this are that smokers become more tired easily and cannot exercise for long as their haemoglobin cannot pick up the oxygen as readily to deliver to the respiring cells, and so the demand of oxygen to the respiring muscles is not met. This is just one disadvantage out of hundreds that smokers end up getting. Both carbon monoxide, and a chemical called nicotine (causes the addiction) lead to increased risk of attaining cardiovascular diseases. Examples of these are atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke.
Stoptober is the first mass quit attempt to be launched, and there will be many more in the future. I believe that the idea of a mass quit attempt is fantastic, and should really deliver an impact to the health of many people in many societies. As we know, NHS are currently on a strain to provide a service of health care to all the citizens in the country, and smoking is one of the largest factors contributing to this strain on NHS. Think about it, smoking causes many diseases, cancers, and results in a great strain on the dental care. This is because more and more people all over the place are in need of immediate dental care due to their oral health being poor as a result of smoking and depleting, leading to many untreatable problems. The action of a mass quit attempt is therefore alleviating massive strain on our nation’s health service, and helping our country overall. After all, we are very lucky to have the NHS providing us health care, as many other countries don’t have a system like ours. The relief of some strain could result in NHS providing better care for more people in the future, the possibilities are reachable. Another reason why I think mass quit attempt is excellent, is that it will make more and more people aware of the effects of smoking and how it can affect people’s lives and the people around them. It will alert many people of why it is so vital to support everyone who smokes to quit, by understanding the benefit it will bring to the people and the country. Furthermore, it could leave a positive impact on kids, making them more aware of the situations caused by smoking, and so it will ensure greater health for future generations.
Nevertheless, there are two sides to this idea. People may believe that their right is being taken away from them, and that their free will is being tampered with. But overall, my opinion is clear that the positive aspect of this action will definitely outweigh the negative, and that we should all be completely supportive to help the people who are smoking to take part in stoptober and take their lives in their own hands.