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The Real Cost of Passive Smoking

The Real Cost of Passive Smoking

Authored by Phil Meekin

Phil Meekin

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Approximate read time: 3 minutes

Never having been a smoker myself, I totally agree with the ban. I just cannot understand the addiction people have to it.

I grew up with my Dad smoking and my Grandparents who used to smoke around 60 woodbines each per day.  I used to love them dearly but when I went to visit it was like walking into the dragons den! I had to shout to see if they were there or not, there was that much smoke to work your way through. I always remember their ceilings and woodwork needed painting yearly as there was that much thick tar on it. Just imagine what it does to peoples’ insides!

My Dad used to warn us though; “don’t start this game, you may as well roll a £10 note up and set light to it for all the good it does people”. But yet he never managed to stop. He had so many attempts, even when he was diagnosed with Angina and Hardening of the Arteries, he couldn’t quit. But like Mum used to say, he didn’t have many pleasures in life. He wasn’t a great drinker or a gambler so she couldn’t nag him too much. I do think it was responsible for shortening his life, 60 is much too young to die from a heart attack.    

I remember when I was young, going on holiday with Grandma and Granddad, they were smoking in the car all the way there. It was awful. My brother and I were in the back and he would say;“ keep low down where the air is cleaner”. So we spent the entire journey to  Skeg -Vegas and back on our hands and knees just so we weren’t doing too much passive smoking!!

My mum said she is so proud to have four children and not one of us be smokers. Also none of our partners are smokers. I think it helped that none of us could ever stand the smell of it. The sight of dirty ashtrays is enough to put you off for life.

Mum said it was just the norm for people to smoke growing up in the 50`s/ 60`s/ 70`s. They used to advertise it as being good for your health, even the doctors would walk around the wards puffing away. And adverts used to try and sell it as sexy /glamorous. How bizarre! 

From a personal point of view, I was so pleased when it was banned from pubs. You didn’t go home with your clothes and hair smelling of tobacco. The downside is that we are now seeing many of our public houses closing down , with many publicans blaming the smoking ban for the cause of this.

But it is not just a matter of health, there’s the financial side and cost to our NHS. It has been estimated that around 80,000 premature deaths per year are the consequence of smoking – one of the biggest drains of resource costing the NHS around 2.7 billion per year. 

How do people afford it ? With a pack of 20  cigarettes costing around £7 – £8 per packet, that means if you smoke 20 cigs a day that’s over £2,500 per year. Had my grandparents still been around with a 60-a-day habit that’s a huge £7,500 per year per smoker. And of course you have to realise that is the cost out of your taxed wages. So in that situation, the saving in giving up smoking 60-a-day would be like a basic rate tax-payer getting a £9,000 pay rise! Wow! If you have been smoking for 20 or 30 years the total is too scary to calculate.

Often, it is the  people who can`t really afford to smoke that it affects the most. I know it must be hard for anyone wanting to quit and it is like a catch 22 situation – worrying about debt problems, bankruptcy, job losses etc., but unfortunately the stress just has them  smoking more!!

Insolvency practitioners are available to help you in business. Borrowing or using your personal resources whilst admirable may not always be in anybody’s interest. So before you become another statistic, consider how an insolvency practitioner can help you.

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