Health

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‘Individual lifestyle choices limit good health more than any other factor’ To live a healthy life people need a balanced diet and to take plenty of exercise but other habits, such as smoking and drinking in excess, can affect our lifestyles and have a negative impact on our health. Whilst some people believe that individuals themselves should know what is good and bad for them, others believe that some people have not been educated enough on the impacts of certain habits on their health and on others around them. Some of these people believe it is the job of the government and other groups to warn these individuals but does this not lead to the people being controlled by a nanny state? Whilst the people should be educated, shouldn’t the individual also take part in improving their lifestyle as well as the government? In the UK around 10 million people smoke, this is roughly 30% of the population. Smoking is a habit which can stunt good health yet millions continue to smoke. A smoking habit of 20 cigarettes a day can cost an individual roughly £1800 per year. Smoking doesn’t just cause the smoker to smell but rather creates many health problems for the individual and those around them. Yes, the nicotine within the cigarettes is addictive, many were peer pressured into smoking and some even started smoking before they found out that it wasn’t good for them but this is a habit that can be stopped. It requires patience and perseverance but it is possible. Yet figures of people smoking are still extremely high. It is up to the individual to stop smoking; whilst the government can provide support they cannot stand over the individual telling them what they can and cannot do. That is up to the individual. The NHS stated that “Women smokers are five times more likely to be killed by their habit today than in the 1960s” but why is this? Research found an increasing difference in mortality between women smokers and women that don’t smoke since the 1960s. The increase can be explained by the ‘the mad men’ effect. Increasingly from the 60s women’s smoking habits have been more like men’s in that they are starting at a younger age and smoking more. One of the researches stated “women who smoke like men, will die like men”, that is why they have been dying more commonly of lung cancer, heart disease and stroke. Smoking amongst both sexes can lead many different problems. Smoking increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, which include heart disease and stroke. Most individuals will have been educated on the risks of smoking and if they have willingly chosen to smoke then they themselves are damaging their health and no-one else is to blame. Majority of the time, smoking it is up to the individual to stop smoking; they have the power to stop yet they continue a habit which limits good health. However, some individuals have not been clearly informed of the risks involved in smoking and the government have been in hand to inform the people. The 2006 ’smoking ban has gone some way in decreasing the number of people who smoke and many habits of other smokers. A recent survey by the BBC showed that 78% of people supported the ban. The 2011 Scottish Health Survey found that in 1998 two thirds of no-smokers were being exposed to second hand smoke, but by 2010 this figure had decreased to 25%. A study by the University of Glasgow showed that there was a 15% reduction in the number of children with asthma being admitted into hospital just a few years after the ban was put in place; which shows that whilst the individual has to be the one who stops smoking, the government can influence their decision when it comes to their health and well-being. Also, cigarette companies have been made to show on their packets that smoking is harmful but there is no evidence on whether it has had an impact. Another government strategy relating to smoking was the Quit4U programme which was initially a local initiative in Dundee. It was set up as a...
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