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Your Lungs Will Thank You

14 March 2013

Your Lungs Will Thank You

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The lead of our current Employee Newsletter – available for Validium customers – reflects the fact that 13th March 2013 is National No Smoking Day in the UK. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the venture, which, in 2011, joined with the British Heart Foundation. It’s also a time of year for me that reminds me of a personal sadness, having lost my father, just before Validium was founded, to smoking-related disease in the 1990’s.

In common with many smokers, Dad protected his choice with a variety of arguments designed to ‘fend off’ the anti-smoking lobby, often perceived as being me! As well as the often heard, ‘it’s my choice’ or ‘when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go’ (meaning that you have to die of something), he used to carry around in his wallet a very dog-eared press-cutting describing a man who had lived into his nineties but who had smoked heavily all his life. This was for those arguments when he felt that ‘evidence’ was needed.   Fortunately, these days, education is much better, fewer people are smoking and, as a result, are living longer.

It was interesting to receive in my Inbox today an offer from our health insurers offering 75% off an Alan Carr Stop Smoking course – insurers are not commonly known as philanthropists, but they obviously think the investment is worth it. As a responsible employer, Validium has always offered employees who smoke the chance to attend an Alan Carr course to help them ‘kick the habit’. This has been very successful with the results that we now have very few smokers in the organisation. To those who do smoke, I usually ask: ‘If you could press a magic button to become a non-smoker, would you press it?’ and the answer is usually ‘yes’.   Even my father said ‘yes’ when he was being less defensive.

So maybe National No Smoking Day is a good time to start. Good luck if you give it a try – you can always call your Employee Assistance Programme for help, if your organisation provides one.