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Smoking and the health of the nation

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Smoking and the health of the nation Effects of smoking, cost to the nation Health service and achieving reduced prevalence Introduction Tobacco is a temperate crop that was first use by Indians in central and South America as part of religious ceremonies. It was discovered by Christopher Columbus and other European explorers of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries led to the development of the tobacco trade. Tobacco was first introduced to Europe from the new world at the end of the fifteenth century. Smoking rapidly spread as it was regarded as having medicinal value and by the seventeenth century smoking of tobacco was widespread through out Europe. It was not until the twentieth century though, that smoking became a mass habbit, and not until the second world war that the dangers of smoking were firmly established. Today there are 10 3/4 million cigarette smokers in England alone, 28% of the 16+ population. There are also 3/4 of a million pipe smokers and over one million cigar smokers. While smoking among adults is falling, smoking prevalence for children under 16 is now closer to that for 1982. ...read more.


(From under 58 people per 100,000 population in 1990 to no more than 35 per 100,000.) * To reduce the death rate for coronary heart disease in people aged 65-74 by at least 30% by the year 2000. "(from under 884 people per 100,000 population in 19990 to no more than 619 per 100,000)" As well as setting these targets the government has produced an action plan 'smoke -free for health' that sets out strategies to help achieve them .Along with the obvious tactics such as increased awareness of health risks and more effective controls on advertising, is the option to raise the price of tobacco through increased tobacco duties. Consumption versus price Common sense, as well as economies tells us that if the price of a product or service goes up, demand for it usually falls and similarly if the price goes down demand generally increases. This link between price and demand is known as known to economists as price elasticity. A product whose demand is totally unaffected by price changes would be given a price elasticity of 0. ...read more.


89 110 1989 102 98 90 107 1990 99 95 93 105 1991 94.5 104.5 98 106 1993 94 111 86 119 Smoking and pregnancy A survey of 5,000 in 1990 found that 39% of mothers smoked before pregnancy; of these 27% claimed to have given up smoking during pregnancy, however 28% of pregnant women smoked through out their pregnancy. The social class distribution for women of this age is as would be expected with women in manual occupations being less likely to give up smoking during pregnancy. (See Fig.3) Data for table 2 and figure 3 Proportion of mothers who smoked before and during pregnancy by social class in Great Britain, 1990. Social class Percentage of mothers During pregnancy Before pregnancy I 17 8 II 23 13 III 26 16 IV 40 29 V 45 34 VI 46 39 Source: office of population censuses and surveys. Infant feeding 1990 a survey. London: HMSO.1990 The social class gradient makes it harder to isolate the health effect of smoking on conception, pregnancy and infant health form the effects of other environmental and behavioural factors associated with social class or low income. ...read more.

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