Smoking is the largest single cause of death and ill health in UK today. Smokers have increased
risk of heart disease, disease of blood vessels, stroke, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary
(lung) disease, lung cancer, cervical cancer and cancer of many other sites and many other
diseases. The children of smokers are more likely to be born underweight, to suffer cot deaths
and to experience upper and lower respiratory tract illness. Other also suffer these health
problems as a result of breathing in the smoke produced by smokers.
For these reasons the NHS and the government are making vigorous efforts to discourage people
from starting smoking and to help smokers quit. Smoking is very addictive and people find it
difficult to give up.
Smoking used to be very common (In the 1930s nearly 80% of males smoked) but since then has been
steadily decreasing. The Public Service Agreement (PSA) has set the aim of reducing the prevalence
of smoking to 20% by 2011.
Publication and policy documents from DH and elsewhere
- Beyond Smoking Kills: Protecting Children, Reducing Inequalities: Executive Summary
A new report published by Action on Smoking & Health (ASH) launched 7th October 2008 and endorsed by WMPHO calls on the Government to introduce tough new measures to protect children and reduce inequalities.
- Choosing Health: Making healthy choices easier
This White Paper sets out the key principles for supporting the public to make healthier and more informed choices in regards to their health. The Government will provide information and practical support to get people motivated and improve emotional wellbeing and access to services so that healthy choices are easier to make.
- Smoking and Pregnancy: An Open Learning Pack for Midwives
This set of open learning materials has been written to help midwives gain knowledge about smoking and pregnancy and develop the skills required to help women who want to give up smoking. The pack is designed so that the learner can be in control of study, adapting her learning to meet her own needs and working at her own pace. The materials are not intended to replace the need for practical workshops, but rather to compliment this method of learning.
- Smoking Kills: A White Paper on Tobacco
Smoking kills. That has been known for years. That is why a lot of adults have given up smoking. But the number of adults who smoke has stopped falling. Worse still the number of children who smoke is going up, with more girls than boys taking up this deadly habit.
Links to important organisation(s)