We are all told that smoking is “injurious to health”! This warning is drilled subtly at times but also thrown in all our faces! Cigarette packaging has graphic images of what could happen to you if you smoked, but for those who do it doesn’t seem to serve as a deterrent at all!

A long time ago smoking was considered “trendy”. At clubs I would see so many people lighting up to have a good time. Pubs and bars would smoky and stuffy by the end of the end and for those who didn’t smoke themselves the environment itself was enough to consider it passive smoking. However, with the stringent bans on smoking in indoor public spaces, today people are forced to step outside if they need to smoke and I’ve noticed that this has actually helped so many people cut down or quit altogether. Especially in London during winter people rarely feel like subjecting their bodies to the cold just for a little puff of tobacco.

Another interesting fact I read up was how people feel that smoking can actually help one progress in their careers. We all saw the F.R.I.E.N.D.S episode, where Chandler takes up smoking! It acts like an icebreaker if you find yourself in a new job — after all, the smoking corners are the ones where people let their hair and inhibitions down. And if your boss smoke voila! – an added bonus (pun intended). But no, I don’t encourage it but at the same time I don’t judge people who do it.

The launch of e-cigarettes has been another huge breakthrough in helping people quit smoking. While e-cigarettes do not have the harmful effects of burning tobacco, it does contain nicotine. People say that is harmless but nicotine is what makes one addicted to smoking and can any addiction ever be safe?

In today’s episode we opened the debate and asked our viewers to share their opinions. It was a balanced debate and although we all know the health implications of smoking, rather than judge someone who smokes why not help them kick the habit themselves?

There are a lot of different ways a person can quit and overcome this expensive and sometimes lethal habit:

• Change your diet
• Make a list of reasons why you should quit
• Get help from the NHS of your local anti-smoking organisation that can guide and help you along the way.
• Hypnotherapy and perhaps other holistic approaches

There have been talks of banning smoking altogether but this has been a subject of heated debates. Many smokers argue that by preventing people from smoking you are actually breaching their human rights and discriminating them from places that they should feel comfortable in. However, in reality, we are all grown-ups and each responsible for our own choices and decisions and, smoking is one of them.