Doctor suggests tabloids publish daily smoking death toll

While smoking remains legal, the number of smokers is never going to fall significantly, argues public health doctor in a letter to this week's BMJ.

Dr Paul Jepson suggests the publish a list of the names of the more than 250 people killed by smoking related disease each day, as part of a "fundamental re-think" on smoking. "Any other drug causing a fraction of the morbidity and mortality of tobacco would have been outlawed long ago," he says.

He explains that in 2010, mephedrone became a class B drug following widespread media coverage and reports of some deaths in the preceding months, although the evidence surrounding the dangers of mephedrone does not exist. This is in stark contrast to tobacco, he argues, which is responsible for around 100,000 deaths each year in the UK. Why should smoking get special treatment?

"People's attitude towards drugs should be evidence based, and not informed by politics or popular opinion. How must smokers feel when they are encouraged to quit their habit by the same government that welcomes so gladly?"

He concludes: "While smoking remains legal, the number of smokers is never going to fall significantly - no matter how much taxes rise, how plain become, or how many millions of pounds is spent on cessation."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Retail tobacco displays make it tougher to quit

Feb 07, 2008

Tobacco advertising displays may be undermining smokers' attempts to give up and tempting former smokers to resume smoking, research by Professor of Marketing Janet Hoek has found.

Britain considering plain cigarette packs

Nov 21, 2010

Tobacco companies could be forced to sell cigarettes in plain grey or brown packaging in Britain in an attempt to deter youngsters from taking up smoking, the health secretary suggested Sunday.

Recommended for you

Study reveals state of crisis in Canadian foster care system

Oct 24, 2014

A new study of foster care in Canada led by a researcher at Western University reveals a shrinking number of foster care providers are available across the country to care for a growing number of children with increasingly ...

Researchers prove the benefits of persimmons for diet

Oct 24, 2014

Alba Mir and Ana Domingo, researchers from the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Valencia, under the supervision of professors Miguel de la Guardia and Maria Luisa Cervera, from the same department, ...

Hand blenders used for cooking can emit persistent chemicals

Oct 24, 2014

Eight out of twelve tested models of hand blenders are leaking chlorinated paraffins when used according to the suppliers' instructions. This is revealed in a report from Stockholm University where researchers analyzed a ...

User comments