Wednesday, March 13, 2013

No smoking day - Wednesday 13th March

It's that time of year when although the clocks haven't yet sprung forward for spring and summer, it is getting appreciably lighter by the day, and the almost oppressive darkness of winter is thankfully behind us for another year.

So what better time to think about various health and wellbeing matters such as getting more exercise, eating the right healthy foods and aiming to get to the right weight - and also giving up smoking (for those among us who smoke)?

Today is No Smoking Day, and given that it falls on a working day, we thought we'd look today at how smoking has changed during the working day - as well as health in general - since the first no smoking day 30 years ago.

Back in the olden days, people had far more opportunities to smoke during the average 24 hour period. It didn't matter if you were on a bus or train, in a cafe or restaurant or at work - there would have been someplace to smoke, and in a lot of cases it didn't even have to be a smoking area as many places allowed smoking no matter where you were sitting.

Attitudes to health (and mental health) have changed greatly over the years and the workplace has seen many changes too - with continued focus on health and safety legislation as well as far greater use of workplace wellbeing policies and health insurance for business from corporate to small and medium business types - often offered as a staff benefit.

It's interesting just how far we've come over the past three decades - and of course the number of smokers is down from what it was all that time ago. Although it is difficult to predict how that one is going to change over time - we're now down to only a fifth of the population smoking, but it would be likely that among them are the most addicted, the least likely to give up - so decline rates may slow.

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