Loss of smell – anosmia

Loss of smell as a sense (anosmia) might not seem like such a big deal. But for those affected the results can be devastating – depression, isolation, and even the breakdown of relationships.

Secret Smoker – a case history

This is about two contrasting people – a secret smoker and a social smoker – who came to see me within a day of each other. Nicola* and Angela* both wanted to stop smoking but had two very different problems.

Plain packs and health warnings

Plain packs, prominent health warnings, and now even a colour called opaque couche – but why don’t all of these anti-smoking measures make more people stop?

Should I quit or cut down smoking?

It’s official – more people are deciding to quit or cut down smoking. The number of smokers in Britain is the lowest that has been recorded since 1974, with just one in six adults in the UK smoking.

Is vaping safe ?

The latest figures show that there are 2.3 million e-cigarette users in the UK. But one question that won’t seem to go away is “Is vaping safe?”. That doesn’t just depend on who you ask – it depends on what you mean by safe as well.

Nicotine replacement gum – case history

One of the things I enjoy most about my work is that there’s very little that’s routine.  Because we’re all individuals even when it’s the same problem, like stopping smoking, people will always have different goals and reasons to stop.

Cannabis – a case study

Craig* had rung me about stopping smoking.  Over the phone it hadn’t sounded too extreme at all.  It had started off as a social thing but he was increasingly smoking when he was on his own.  He smoked in the evenings and at weekends, but never at work.

Smoking reduction

Smoking reduction Graham* was in a very familiar situation when he rang me. A thirty-a-day smoker he’d been told to stop by his doctor, his wife, his children, and his grandchildren. The problem was Graham didn’t want to stop – but he did want to cut down.

North West UK Smoking facts and figures

One in five adults in the North West smokes
Two-thirds of smokers started before they were 18.
Smoking is highest among 25-34 age group, and lowest among the over 60s
Six out of ten smokers say they would find it hard to last a whole day without smoking
Seven out of ten smokers have their first cigarette of the day within an hour of waking up
Surveys show that about two-thirds of current smokers would like to stop smoking
Every year over a third of smokers try to stop
Almost nine out of ten of smokers agree that smoking should be banned in restaurants and other public places
If you’re in low paid work or on benefits you’re twice as likely to smoke as if you’re in a well-paid job or profession
People in low paid work or on benefits take longer and deeper drags on cigarettes than smokers in better paid jobs or professions
Social attitudes to smoking are increasingly linking it to negative assumptions about intelligence, work, and social status

Scared of successfully stopping smoking

It’s October, and I always see an increase in people who want to stop smoking prompted by the Stoptober campaign.  Over the years I’ve seen all sorts of behaviours around smoking – people who started before they were ten; people who’d smoked for over fifty years; people who smoked fifty a day; people who only smoked at work or in the car; and people who smoked and believed that no-one else could tell.