During October, thousands of people across England are taking part in Stoptober – a 28 day challenge to stop smoking. This initiative supports people to go a whole month during October without smoking.
Latest statistics show that if you quit smoking for 28 days, you are five times more likely to quit for good.
But information from Sober Services, who help people attain and maintain their recovery from addiction, has found that smoking cigarettes is the gateway drug from which all others grow.
It’s the drug we turn to often as young teenagers and begin to associate addictive behaviours and procedures around.
We learn about having that first cigarette of the day. That smoke after a meal. Sharing a cigarette with our friends and associating being sociable with a smoke break.
This is often our first exposure to an addictive substance.
Many people blame cannabis smoking as the gateway drug, but I believe that over 95% of those smoking joints who then go on to become addicted to harder drugs, would have been smoking cigarettes first.
It’s easier to see once it’s pointed out to you, but previously we ignored it, because it is so socially acceptable.
And on this count recent government policies to reduce smoking in this country have been very effective.
We’ve banned smoking in public places and pushed smokers into a position of feeling left out.
Smoking is no longer considered a cool pastime, and for a great deal of the countries smokers these days, many of them would choose to stop smoking if they felt they could do it easily.
There are, of course a great deal of cigarette addicts, who aren’t addicted to anything else. This is just simply another limiting belief that then allows those smokers to permit themselves to carry on. Unfortunately, there’s still too many people that will end up in hospital with smoking related diseases who still don’t want to admit they have a problem.
Of all the various drugs on the market – illegal and legal, prescribed and promoted, cigarettes are the most influential, provide the smallest pleasure, and yet cause one of the highest levels of harm. How a society can tolerate such a poisonous weed being sold in our shops just goes to show how profound the addiction goes, that our law makers have been taken in under its spell too.