As a retired health professional, I’ve watched attentively as politicians and health scientists grapple with the fall-out and vagaries of the Covid pandemic.
The initial tactics were not hi-tech, just fairly simple health messages, firmly encouraging behaviour changes, to not only control the spread of the virus, but also to save our NHS from being overwhelmed until vaccine development and roll-out.
This has been accompanied by the unrelenting focus of the media scrutinising, reporting and debating on the politics and the science with personal stories of success and of tragedy.
Covid has been with us for almost two years and sadly around 150,000 have died in the UK in that time. This figure, shocking as it is, is in the same ball park number for deaths from smoking-related illness, which for the year 2020 was 75,000 and there were more than 500,000 smoking-related illness hospital admissions.
Why are there no similar political and health expert-generated concerned messages, or our “balanced” media focusing on the pandemic that is the smoking habit?
Why is the public so inured to this habit that can cause life-shortening serious health issues?
Smokers certainly fare worse generally if they become infected by Covid and pre-pandemic smoking was and will continue to be a very significant tragic burden on treatment and beds in the NHS. Our politicians and health educators must do more.
If you’re a smoker and looking for a really positive life-changing resolution not just for yourself, but also ultimately to help the NHS we hold dear, then stopping in 2022 might be a good time!
There is help out there. Try nhsinform.scot
William Morgan, Midstocket, Aberdeen.