Smokers Unrealistic About Odds of Quitting

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Mar 11 – The overwhelming majority of smokers regret that they ever started, the results of a new UK survey show. But even though most smokers would like to stop, they are deluded about how easy it will be for them to quit, researchers report.
While most smokers know they are dealing with an addiction, they need to get serious about quitting or it will just keep on getting tougher to stop, Clive Bates, director of the London-based Action on Smoking and Health, told Reuters Health. Bates is a co-author of a report on the survey published in the March 9th issue of the British Medical Journal.

In the poll of 893 smokers, 83% (79% men and 87% women) said that if given the chance to live their life over again, they would not start smoking. People between the ages of 45 to 64 years were the most likely to regret having started smoking, with 90% saying that they would not choose smoking again. People in this age group may be starting to experience some of the health problems caused by smoking, the authors suggest.

Most younger people also regretted the decision to start smoking. Seventy-eight percent of respondents between the ages of 16 to 24 years said that they would not start smoking if given a second chance.

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