Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

You Know It Makes Sense

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

You Know It Makes Sense

Article excerpt

You know it makes sense - Fifty years ago today, the first link was made between smoking and lung cancer. Five decades on, the battle to get people to stop smoking is still being fought.

Worryingly, in key areas, it appears to be being lost. More young woman, for instance, are known to be smoking.

There have been major successes, more no-smoking workplaces, shops and restaurants.

And last month's latest anti-smoking campaign by the British Heart Foundation saw the biggest ever number of calls ever to an advice line.

It is now possible to get advice from a huge range of sources and even medical products on prescription to help people quit.

Yet still the problem persists despite the horrifying statistics and annual death rate from smoking related diseases.

How can this be in a world where the scientific facts are so well known and understood.

According to Dr Ian Inglis, a senior lecturer in sociology at Northumbria University, it is because of "cognitive dissonance".

That is the ability to have two conflicting opinions at the same time.

Smokers know it is bad for their health but do not accept the worst will happen to them.

Five decades is a long time for 120,000 people a year to learn the hard way that "cognitive dissonance" is not a sensible long-term life choice. …

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