Every year in our trade, significant efforts are made to reduce or eliminate completely the risk of burning. Fire safety and risk management can prevent unintentional fires on construction sites, while restrictions on the burning of commercial waste reduces the creation of black smoke. These efforts minimise risk in a number of ways, including the harmful toxins and chemicals that are emitted by burning rubber, plastics or similar materials.
But have you ever stopped to consider that there is a type of burning – which thousands of people in our industry do every day – that causes harm to themselves and those around them?
In 2020, around 1 in 4 (23.4%) people in routine and manual occupations smoked. In England, the gap in smoking prevalence between those in routine and manual occupations (for example, labourers or lorry drivers) and those in other occupations has widened significantly since 2012.
While many of us are aware that smoking is bad, too few understand that the main problem with cigarette smoking is the burning and the smoke itself.
When an adult smoker puts a cigarette in their mouth and sets fire to it, they are burning tobacco to temperatures above 900°C. This process produces smoke that contains over 6,000 chemicals, of which about 100 have been identified as causes or potential causes of smoking-related diseases.
The best decision any smoker can make is to quit cigarettes and nicotine altogether. Unfortunately, many smokers can’t or won’t quit – and they could benefit from switching to something less harmful. But how do smokers choose a better smoke-free alternative if access to accurate information is limited, or even restricted? Are smokers able to make informed decisions that help them abandon cigarettes without understanding the problem with burning tobacco? And without the known facts, are smokers at risk of continued smoking if they’re confused about the choices available to them?
To achieve a smoke-free future, adult smokers must be made aware of the problem with burning tobacco. Understanding the facts can help them make an informed decision that could see them abandon cigarettes for good.
To get the facts, visit www.smokefreefuture.co.uk/thefacts