“A custom loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs, and in the black, stinking fume thereof, nearest resembling the horrible Stygian smoke of the pit that is bottomless.”. James I A Counterblast to Tobacco ( 1604)
The opponents of smoking have rarely been known for their moderation so before you risk taking up the weed as a prophylactic to corona virus (is there evidence for this I wonder?) sign up for the next science talk on 12 November.
Smoking in 21st Century Britain: why should we care about it and what can we learn from it?
In the first half of the 20th century the UK experienced an epidemic increase in tobacco smoking, and for the past 60 years at least, smoking has been the largest avoidable cause of death and disease in the UK. This public health disaster has happened because successive governments have consistently failed comprehensively to recognise the causes of the smoking epidemic, to adopt policies that address those causes and prevent smoking uptake, and to provide and promote treatment services to help established smokers to quit smoking. Even today, smoking remains endemic in society, hiding in plain sight. For example, in response to the first UK wave of the Covid-19 epidemic in which approximately 40,000 people are estimated to have died from Covid infection, our government and institutions have enacted radical and unprecedented changes to our society, services and economy, spending billions on Covid prevention. During the same period, smoking has killed 45,000 people, and has been ignored.
Preventing smoking is simple, cheap, saves money, saves lives, would substantially reduce social inequalities in health and infuse a substantial cash benefit into some of the poorest areas, communities and families in Britain. In this presentation Professor Britton will review the UK track record on smoking prevention, summarise the measures that should be taken to eradicate smoking, and touch briefly on the lessons of the tobacco epidemic for other avoidable commercial causes of ill-health.
John Britton is (as of July 20) emeritus professor of epidemiology at the University of Nottingham, and a former consultant in respiratory medicine at Nottingham City Hospital. For 12 years he was director of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, one of five UK public health research centres established in 2008, and for over 20 years chaired the Royal College of Physicians Tobacco Advisory Group, publishing multiple reports on UK the effects, prevention and control of the UK tobacco epidemic.
By Zoom at 8pm
£5 members / £7 non-members
Please book by 1pm on the day of the event.