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Cornish Smokers Fear Letting Family Down

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7:01am 12th March 2014

A report warns one in three Cornish smokers is wracked with guilt they could let down their families by dying early.

A survey reveals many fear they will miss things like weddings or the birth of grandchildren.

On No Smoking Day one Cornish smoker has told Pirate FM "I wish I never started."

John Woodward is from Brazacott near Egloskerry and first lit up at sixteen: "One shouldn't have regrets in life but probably starting to smoke was a regret. Once you get hooked on tobacco you continue.

I've tried patches, I've tried nicotine substitutes but there is nothing as strong as willpower.

"At the end of the day it's willpower and determination that makes you stop."

The survey of more than 1,000 people across the southwest shows more than 1 in 3 smokers (36%) in Cornwall are worried they will experience regret about smoking when facing early death. A third of smokers (32%) fear they will let down those they hold closest by dying early.

The research also reveals high levels of anxiety amongst the families and friends of smokers with nearly half of Cornish families and friends (48%) saying they worry their loved one will regret continuing to smoke when faced with an early death. 

Nearly 1 in 3 people with a smoking relative or friend (28%) are most worried they wouldn’t live long enough to celebrate the joy of major family events such as weddings and the births of children or grandchildren. An overwhelming 7 out of 10 (77%) of smokers’ families and friends in Cornwall want them to quit.

In Cornwall, an estimated 92,910 adults still smoke and, in the coming year, around 1,030 are predicted to die of smoking-related diseases.

Fiona Andrews, Director of Smokefree South West, said: “This survey confirms that the fear of dying early is very real – not only amongst smokers but amongst their loved ones too.

“The risk is big. Half of all smokers will die early as a result of smoking. It is easy to put things off, but it doesn’t have to be this way. As part of our ‘Be There Tomorrow’ campaign, we are urging people in the South West to use No Smoking Day this week to quit the habit before it’s too late. Get in touch with your local NHS Stop Smoking Service for practical support and advice that has already helped hundreds of thousands of people in the South West to break free of tobacco.”

Felicity Owen, Director of Public Health for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, added: “These are hard-hitting figures and show how seriously people are taking the consequences of smoking. The good news is that there is plenty of support available locally to help people who want to make that positive decision to quit, for the sake of themselves and their loved ones. Giving up with help is far more effective than trying to do it alone, and the Stop Smoking Team can increase smokers’ chance of being successful.”

7:01am 12th March 2014

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