Town smokers fear they will die young

NIck Sheppard, who managed to kick the nicotine habit

NIck Sheppard, who managed to kick the nicotine habit

First published in News by

A QUARTER of smokers in Swindon and Wiltshire fear they will not live long enough to support those closest to them in times of need, new research has revealed ahead of tomorrow’s national No Smoking Day.

In a survey of more than 1,000 people across the South West, around 27 per cent of smokers in Swindon and Wiltshire expressed fears they would not be present for their family and friends as a result of the lethal habit.

The same number were worried they would miss out on major celebrations and family milestones such as the births of children and grandchildren.

The research carried out by Smokefree South West also showed high levels of anxiety among relatives with 46 per cent admitting they were concerned about the regret their loved one would feel at the prospect of having their life cut short as a result of smoking.

An estimated 98,810 adults smoke in Swindon and Wiltshire with around 910 predicted to die of smoking-related diseases.

Swindon Advertiser:

Left, Panusha Patel, pharmacist at the GWH Boots store, kneeling is Tanya Seltee, a volunteer stop smoking advisor at GWH. Behind her is Stephanie Taylor, cardiac specialist nurse and stop smoking champion at GWH, Mr Ciggie! and Grace Wiles, from the Swindon Borough Council health ambassador team

To curb this alarming trend and encourage residents to give up tobacco on No Smoking Day, former chain smokers such as Nick Sheppard, of Walcot, want to show that quitting is achievable and also the only healthy choice.

The 47-year-old gave up tobacco after more than three decades in 2012 and has since become a stop smoking adviser. “I quit smoking after 35 years,” he said.

“My main reason was worries about health. I had a motorbike accident in 1998 which causes lung problems, and along with asthma I was finding it hard to breathe. I was functioning on 1¼ lungs.

“I am a volunteer for the drug treatment agency and my work involves trying to get people to break the cycle of addiction so it felt hypocritical if I was rushing off for a cigarette every five minutes. I felt inspired that I should make the change to escape my own addiction to nicotine.”

Once he had made the decision to quit, Nick contacted his local Stop Smoking Service at Park Lane Surgery in Swindon.

“Steph at the surgery was absolutely fantastic, she gave me the right tools to quit and I always knew that she would be available if I needed support.

“ I now work for SEQOL as a stop smoking adviser so I have first-hand experience of what it’s like to give up which helps.

“Life is a lot better now. I feel that my life is much cleaner and healthier and I don’t have to use inhalers at the moment.

“I am much more active and can enjoy getting out and about.”

Nick joined the estimated 32,000 people in the South West who gave up smoking last year using the free NHS Stop Smoking Service.

For more visit www.bethere tomorrow.co.uk or call Swindon Stop Smoking service by calling 0800 3892229 or 01793 465513, texting 07881281797 or emailing besmokefree @ seqol.org.

Comments (9)

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7:04am Tue 11 Mar 14

house on the hill says...

Never understood smoking, playing Russian Roulette with your health and life, spending a fortune (the Adver reported the average smoker spends £1700 a year on smoking (or the cost of a 2 bed house over their shortened lifetime)) and smelling like an old ashtray. Everyone I know who has given up cant believe how much better they feel and how much more money that have to do the things they always wanted to. Strange so many say they are so concerned yet carry on, a very strange attitude.
Never understood smoking, playing Russian Roulette with your health and life, spending a fortune (the Adver reported the average smoker spends £1700 a year on smoking (or the cost of a 2 bed house over their shortened lifetime)) and smelling like an old ashtray. Everyone I know who has given up cant believe how much better they feel and how much more money that have to do the things they always wanted to. Strange so many say they are so concerned yet carry on, a very strange attitude. house on the hill
  • Score: 0

8:55am Tue 11 Mar 14

ChannelX says...

Although I've never smoked in my life, I've also never quite understood why so many people get so worked up about it. I mean, why does anyone care if somebody else smokes or not?

If you want to smoke, smoke. If you enjoy smoking, smoke. If not, don't.

Anything else is just bizarre control freakery.
Although I've never smoked in my life, I've also never quite understood why so many people get so worked up about it. I mean, why does anyone care if somebody else smokes or not? If you want to smoke, smoke. If you enjoy smoking, smoke. If not, don't. Anything else is just bizarre control freakery. ChannelX
  • Score: 0

10:08am Tue 11 Mar 14

Robh says...

The headline belies the truth as most anti smoking campaigns do. 27% does not justify the headline. Many people who still smoke are aware of all the dangers but continue to smoke because a) its a habit, b) they find some kind of enjoyment and c) they tend to feel you have to die at sometime.

I know it is a bit fatalistic but that the way of the world. What makes me concerned is the attempts to ban or control e-cigarettes Why? because they are not taxed.
The headline belies the truth as most anti smoking campaigns do. 27% does not justify the headline. Many people who still smoke are aware of all the dangers but continue to smoke because a) its a habit, b) they find some kind of enjoyment and c) they tend to feel you have to die at sometime. I know it is a bit fatalistic but that the way of the world. What makes me concerned is the attempts to ban or control e-cigarettes Why? because they are not taxed. Robh
  • Score: 1

1:56pm Tue 11 Mar 14

house on the hill says...

ChannelX wrote:
Although I've never smoked in my life, I've also never quite understood why so many people get so worked up about it. I mean, why does anyone care if somebody else smokes or not?

If you want to smoke, smoke. If you enjoy smoking, smoke. If not, don't.

Anything else is just bizarre control freakery.
So you would just let people eat, drink and smoke themselves stupid if its their choice with no responsibility from Govt or anywhere else to try and educate them? or play chicken in the fast lane? or real Russian Roulette?

and the cost of care is rising all the time and no one has definitive proof that the tax collected does cover the cost of care and benefits and lost work days against less pensions being paid because most die sooner.
[quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: Although I've never smoked in my life, I've also never quite understood why so many people get so worked up about it. I mean, why does anyone care if somebody else smokes or not? If you want to smoke, smoke. If you enjoy smoking, smoke. If not, don't. Anything else is just bizarre control freakery.[/p][/quote]So you would just let people eat, drink and smoke themselves stupid if its their choice with no responsibility from Govt or anywhere else to try and educate them? or play chicken in the fast lane? or real Russian Roulette? and the cost of care is rising all the time and no one has definitive proof that the tax collected does cover the cost of care and benefits and lost work days against less pensions being paid because most die sooner. house on the hill
  • Score: -2

2:54pm Tue 11 Mar 14

ChannelX says...

The last time I looked, smoking was (just about) legal. Therefore it stands to reason that if people want to smoke, they are perfectly at liberty to do so. It really makes no difference whether you or I think they should or shouldn't.

It's the same as obesity, just because you or I may think it 'wrong' that a person eats their own (ever increasing) body weight in junk food every week it doesn't actually mean they can't do it perfectly legally and of their own choosing.

If anyone WANTS to play Russian Roulette, (a) I'm not entirely sure how you could stop them and (b) why you'd want to.

People know full well that smoking is bad for them. It's ridiculous to even try to pretend that there's no 'education' on the subject. As long as it remains legal, people have every right to smoke if they so wish.

Quite why you seem to think their choices affect you so much I'm not really sure. I dare say there are things you like, enjoy and do that I'm not bothered about - but I don't go around trying to stop you from doing those things just because I have no interest in them.

And the whole NHS thing is a silly argument as we're forced to pay for everyone's treatment regardless of what they do or don't do.
The last time I looked, smoking was (just about) legal. Therefore it stands to reason that if people want to smoke, they are perfectly at liberty to do so. It really makes no difference whether you or I think they should or shouldn't. It's the same as obesity, just because you or I may think it 'wrong' that a person eats their own (ever increasing) body weight in junk food every week it doesn't actually mean they can't do it perfectly legally and of their own choosing. If anyone WANTS to play Russian Roulette, (a) I'm not entirely sure how you could stop them and (b) why you'd want to. People know full well that smoking is bad for them. It's ridiculous to even try to pretend that there's no 'education' on the subject. As long as it remains legal, people have every right to smoke if they so wish. Quite why you seem to think their choices affect you so much I'm not really sure. I dare say there are things you like, enjoy and do that I'm not bothered about - but I don't go around trying to stop you from doing those things just because I have no interest in them. And the whole NHS thing is a silly argument as we're forced to pay for everyone's treatment regardless of what they do or don't do. ChannelX
  • Score: 4

9:41pm Tue 11 Mar 14

house on the hill says...

ChannelX wrote:
The last time I looked, smoking was (just about) legal. Therefore it stands to reason that if people want to smoke, they are perfectly at liberty to do so. It really makes no difference whether you or I think they should or shouldn't.

It's the same as obesity, just because you or I may think it 'wrong' that a person eats their own (ever increasing) body weight in junk food every week it doesn't actually mean they can't do it perfectly legally and of their own choosing.

If anyone WANTS to play Russian Roulette, (a) I'm not entirely sure how you could stop them and (b) why you'd want to.

People know full well that smoking is bad for them. It's ridiculous to even try to pretend that there's no 'education' on the subject. As long as it remains legal, people have every right to smoke if they so wish.

Quite why you seem to think their choices affect you so much I'm not really sure. I dare say there are things you like, enjoy and do that I'm not bothered about - but I don't go around trying to stop you from doing those things just because I have no interest in them.

And the whole NHS thing is a silly argument as we're forced to pay for everyone's treatment regardless of what they do or don't do.
I just feel sorry for them wasting their money and their lives in many cases. Maybe the fact I have a life and enjoy it greatly gives me a different outlook on it, that I want to continue to enjoy it for as long as I can. And as you keep saying we are all entitled to our opinions and very few seem to share yours generally!
[quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: The last time I looked, smoking was (just about) legal. Therefore it stands to reason that if people want to smoke, they are perfectly at liberty to do so. It really makes no difference whether you or I think they should or shouldn't. It's the same as obesity, just because you or I may think it 'wrong' that a person eats their own (ever increasing) body weight in junk food every week it doesn't actually mean they can't do it perfectly legally and of their own choosing. If anyone WANTS to play Russian Roulette, (a) I'm not entirely sure how you could stop them and (b) why you'd want to. People know full well that smoking is bad for them. It's ridiculous to even try to pretend that there's no 'education' on the subject. As long as it remains legal, people have every right to smoke if they so wish. Quite why you seem to think their choices affect you so much I'm not really sure. I dare say there are things you like, enjoy and do that I'm not bothered about - but I don't go around trying to stop you from doing those things just because I have no interest in them. And the whole NHS thing is a silly argument as we're forced to pay for everyone's treatment regardless of what they do or don't do.[/p][/quote]I just feel sorry for them wasting their money and their lives in many cases. Maybe the fact I have a life and enjoy it greatly gives me a different outlook on it, that I want to continue to enjoy it for as long as I can. And as you keep saying we are all entitled to our opinions and very few seem to share yours generally! house on the hill
  • Score: -2

7:30am Wed 12 Mar 14

ChannelX says...

Sure, I also can't really understand why people would waste so much money on something that I consider so pointless - but then people would likely look at what you and I do and think, 'Why do they waste their time/money on that stuff?'

As for 'wasting their lives', we all die of something. Some young, some old. Yes, certain things CAN, in some cases, bring about an earlier than average life expectancy death, but your own death is still your own death. It will only happen once and that will have been your time. It's like people who say, 'They were taken too soon'. No, they weren't, they died when they died - that's the end of it. Unless, of course, you're happy to tell a person who's 101 that, 'You're being taken too late'.

I also think you're slightly dramatising things. Although I've personally never smoked, I know plenty of people who've smoked for decades (usually from a very young age) and many of them regularly use the gym, play sports and have a completely normal lifestyle that is unhindered by their smoking.

The idea that all smokers end up looking like toothless grannies at 36 while hooked up to oxygen machines is all a bit 1970s Government infomercial.
Sure, I also can't really understand why people would waste so much money on something that I consider so pointless - but then people would likely look at what you and I do and think, 'Why do they waste their time/money on that stuff?' As for 'wasting their lives', we all die of something. Some young, some old. Yes, certain things CAN, in some cases, bring about an earlier than average life expectancy death, but your own death is still your own death. It will only happen once and that will have been your time. It's like people who say, 'They were taken too soon'. No, they weren't, they died when they died - that's the end of it. Unless, of course, you're happy to tell a person who's 101 that, 'You're being taken too late'. I also think you're slightly dramatising things. Although I've personally never smoked, I know plenty of people who've smoked for decades (usually from a very young age) and many of them regularly use the gym, play sports and have a completely normal lifestyle that is unhindered by their smoking. The idea that all smokers end up looking like toothless grannies at 36 while hooked up to oxygen machines is all a bit 1970s Government infomercial. ChannelX
  • Score: 2

7:32am Wed 12 Mar 14

ChannelX says...


And as you keep saying we are all entitled to our opinions and very few seem to share yours generally!


That being the case on this website not only doesn't trouble me in the slightest, it actually makes me feel fairly relieved.
[quote] And as you keep saying we are all entitled to our opinions and very few seem to share yours generally! [/quote] That being the case on this website not only doesn't trouble me in the slightest, it actually makes me feel fairly relieved. ChannelX
  • Score: 3

3:28pm Wed 12 Mar 14

twasadawf says...

E-cigs are the future
E-cigs are the future twasadawf
  • Score: 0

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