Saturday, 23 March 2013

So where does an 11 year old get the money for cigarettes?

New research says that the number of 11 to 16 year olds taking up smoking rose in 2011 to 207,000 from 157,000 in 2010.

When I put this on my facebook page the first comment I got was from a mum of 4. "Where does an 11 year old get the money for cigarettes? The answer I suppose is they pinched them from parents or older siblings or they pinched the money to buy some. Of it was their lunch money. (most of us did that, didn’t you?)

So isn't it illegal to sell cigarettes to under 18's? Yes it is - but still they get them!

But the question for me is why do kids still want to smoke knowing the damage it does? We all know someone who's suffering with the side effects of being a smoker - every child has seen someone with lung disease or cancer - if not someone they know, then someone on TV.

The answer is the same as it’s always been. It’s the answer that 95% of my stop smoking clients give. Peer pressure. Or as some people write on the questionnaire I give them "pier pressure" which conjures up a weird picture!

So what is peer pressure? It's our automatic response. The automatic response of human beings. We like to be liked. We like people who are like us. We like to join clubs. So whatever our age, when someone says "join us, we're having a good time" we join! OK not all of us – but a high percentage. And we’re more likely to join when we’re in our teens.

Most of my clients started smoking in their teens at school, at university or starting their first job. They did it because “everyone else was doing it”. Then they’re stuck. Even when “Everyone else” stops they carry on!

Teenagers have always seen “grown ups” smoking. So if you’re 14 how do you think you can look 16 or 18? Yes, do something that you have to be 16 (or now it’s 18) to do – smoke! Isn’t it the same with drinking?

Our parents do it, TV and pop stars do it – and we want to be like them!

I believe that the only way we will stop children smoking is to stop adults smoking. When TV “celebs” and pop stars take responsibility to say NO. To show youngsters that it isn’t “cool” to smoke (and drink to excess). Then we will see less young people starting to smoke.

When the government and NHS realise that they need to help people to stop smoking – not threaten them with ugly photos or blank packages. When everyone realises that they only failed to stop because they were trying methods that DON’T WORK. Then young people won’t want to smoke. There will be no point. If no-one else is doing it, if it’s not cool and doesn’t help stress (no, it really doesn’t) then there will be no point.

Until then I will be in a job. I will be helping people stop smoking. I fear that long after I am gone there will still be a need for someone to help people to stop smoking. Someone to help the 11 year olds of today when they are in their 40’s with the first signs of COPD, heart disease and cancer. How very sad.

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Saturday, 9 March 2013

6 Things we Forgot about Sleeping

1. Every living thing needs to sleep.
2. Sleep is our body’s chance to repair and re-energise.
3. All living things have a body clock which is pre-set.
4. Human beings need about 6 – 8 hours sleep a night on average.
5. We cannot make ourselves sleep – force is the very opposite to sleep.

6. There can be physical, chemical and emotional reasons why me don’t sleep

All of these can be overcome because of point No.1: Every living thing needs to sleep.

So to be able to sleep “like a baby” you need to follow some simple rules, set up some new habits, follow a simple plan – and allow yourself to sleep.

I would like to share with you the answer! The simple rules to follow and a wonderful, relaxing, sleep inducing hypnosis!

If you're having problems sleeping give me a call.  You will, won't you?