Buying Cigarettes
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One-a-day smokers 'feel they quit'

More than half of smokers who light up once a day believe they have quit, according to a poll.

Some 51% do not consider themselves smokers even though they have one a day, while one in eight (13%) believe they have given up but still admit to smoking the "odd one".

More than half (57%) of all smokers said they keep their habit a secret from family and friends, most often their partner, followed by their children, friends or parents.

When smokers sneak out for a cigarette, they are most likely to say they are going to the shop, to see a friend or to walk the dog.

The survey of 2,000 smokers also found one in 12 are prevented from smoking in their own home.

Around 80% of smokers want to quit although a third say they have smoked less since the smoking ban in public places was brought in in 2007.

Top reasons for wanting to stop include being diagnosed with a serious illness, needing to save money and becoming a parent, but some heavy smokers said they would give up only if they became ill.

NHS statistics show that 21% of adults in England smoked cigarettes in 2009, the same as in 2007 and 2008 but lower than the 39% in 1980.

Fiona Caplan-Dean, clinical services manager at the Co-operative Pharmacy, which carried out the survey, said: "The smoking ban in public places has had a major effect on the health of the nation with a significant number of people giving up, but many smokers now try to keep their habit secret from their partner, children, friends and family.

"Light smokers in particular convince themselves that they have quit but still smoke. Just smoking one or two cigarettes a day has an impact on health and is detrimental to your skin and appearance."

Published: Sunday, January 29, 2012

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