Could the smoking ban be a good thing for most smokers?
|Published: 23rd June 2007 12:21|
Whether you are a smoker or not, you should know that July 1 2007 is the date that the Smoking Ban in England comes into force. Read our report - Are you going to be ready to comply with the new "Smoke Free" regulations?
Even though Cherie Booth QC (aka Mrs Blair) has been booked to represent a nightclub owner on the grounds of ‘human rights' against this policy, smoking will be illegal in all enclosed public places, including the workplace, shopping centres and of course, pubs, bars and restaurants.
Although most smokers will not be looking forward to this ban, paradoxically around 70% of them say that they want to stop smoking - according to a recent survey.
Minehead pharmacist Max Punni, Managing Director of Alcombe Pharmacy, comments, "The smoking ban on July 1st is a fantastic opportunity for people to ‘name the day' and give up smoking, but everyone accepts that beating the habit takes time."
Mr. Punni urges smokers to contact local pharmacies for advice. He continued, "Giving up smoking requires much planning, encouragement, support and motivation. However, there is a range of products available without prescription which can ease the process and our staff at Alcombe and Porlock are well trained to advise patients who wish to attempt this often daunting challenge with the help and support of experts".
Max, an ex-smoker himself, gave AboutMyArea his top 10 tips to assist smokers to give up their habit:
- Name the day when you are going to stop. You can then use the days between to plan.
- Save the money that you will not be spending. (One Minehead patient saved enough money to visit a sister in Argentina! If an individual smokes 20 a day, they can save around £1,825 a year.)
- Ask your pharmacist if there are any nicotine replacement therapies that may suit you. They will also ensure that the correct dosages are being used.
- Tell your friends and family as they can help you too.
- Occupy your hands, as they will probably become fidgety. A good tip is a stress ball.
- Keep a helpline number handy, and feel free to ask questions.
- Wash all your clothes to get rid of the smell of smoke.
- Avoid people who smoke and spend more time with your non-smoking friends.
- Don't empty your ashtrays. This will remind you of how many you do smoke - the sight and smell of stale cigarettes butts will be very unpleasant.
- Avoid heavy drinking of alcohol, caffeine, or other stimulants or mood-altering substances, that are often ‘triggers' for smoking.
AboutMyArea/TA24 believes that Mr. Punni might have a point. While the smokers in our community do not want this ban (that includes the editor), we could use it to our own advantage. [Keep telling ourselves, "It's my health and my money" and forget about the ‘nanny state' implications of the ban - ed.]
Smokers don't have to go through the bereavement of losing this habit alone. Our ‘Community Comments' could be a tool to help those of us wanting to give up. So let's hear from you.