ONE in four smokers in Gloucestershire worry they will regret smoking when facing an early death.
According to research conducted by Smokefree South West to mark No Smoking Day yesterday, Wednesday, March 12 , 26 per cent of the county’s smokers are concerned they will experience regret when close to an early death.
A fifth said they worried they would not live long enough to celebrate the joy of major family events such as weddings and the births of children or grandchildren.
The research also reveals high levels of anxiety amongst the families and friends of smokers with just over a third of Gloucestershire families and friends saying they worry their loved one will regret continuing to smoke.
An overwhelming seven out of ten of smokers’ families and friends want them to quit.
In Gloucestershire, an estimated 88,650 adults still smoke and, in the coming year, at least 870 are predicted to die of smoking-related diseases.
Smokefree South West, the public health body which works to cut smoking-related early death across the region, carried out the survey as part of their current ‘Be there tomorrow’ campaign.
The campaign includes heart-wrenching TV, radio and billboard adverts highlighting the devastating loss experienced by the families of smokers who’ve died because of their habit.
New billboard adverts are going up across Gloucestershire this week.
Director of Smokefree South West, Fiona Andrews, said the survey confirmed 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,” she said.
“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.”
Cllr Dorcas Binns, Gloucestershire County Council’s cabinet member for public health and communities, said: “My message to anyone who wants to stop smoking is give it a go, there’s lots of help available and we have a fantastic team of advisers here in Gloucestershire.
“You’re four times more likely to quit with the support of the NHS stop smoking team than by going it alone, so I would encourage everyone to use this opportunity to find out more about the service and what help there is available.”
To find out more about the campaign, information to help quitting for good and to find your local free NHS Stop Smoking Service, visit www.betheretomorrow.co.uk
To get the help you need to quit for good, contact the Gloucestershire Helpline on 0300 421 0040, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.stopsmokingglos.nhs.uk.