In the above Nicorette advert, Alex, a 31yr old trainee accountant tells us how, at the age of 16,he started smoking because of associations of it being daring, risky, adventurous and a form of rebellion against his parents.
Having tried to give up smoking 3 times, at the time, Alex saw smoking as a release, sometimes smoking 10-15 a day. Alongside Nicorette products, taking up sport has distracted him from smoking and given more focus, and having successfully quit completely, now feels more upbeat in general.
According to the 2011 NHS Statistics on smoking,
"In 2004 the HSE included a boost sample to increase the sample size" of people in ethnic minority groups. The relationship between smoking status and ethnicity was explored in Chapter 4: Use of tobacco products of the associated report Health Survey for England 2004: The Health of Minority Ethnic Groups (HSE 2004)20.Example findings include: self-reported cigarette smoking prevalence was 40% among Bangladeshi, 30% Irish, 29% Pakistani, 25% of Black Caribbean, 21% Chinese, and 20% in Indian men, compared with 24% among men in the general population.Self-reported smoking prevalence was higher among women in the general population (23%) than most minority ethnic groups, except Irish (26%) and Black Caribbean women (24%). The figures for the other groups were 10% Black African,8% Chinese, 5% Indian and Pakistani, and 2% in Bangladeshi women."
2.4.2 Regional prevalence
The GLF 2009 report presented variations in smoking prevalence in England in 2009 by Government Office Region (GOR). The sample sizes were relatively small, making them subject to relatively high levels of sampling error, thus interpretation of regional data has been treated cautiously. Among men, the prevalence of current smokers was highest in the North West (24%) and London (26%) and lowest in the East Midlands and South West (19% each). For women, the highest prevalence was found in the Yorkshire and the Humber (22%), the North East (23%) and the North West (22%) and the lowest prevalence in the South West (17%).
According to this June 2012 BBC news report regarding the British public smoking ban in 2004 entitled: Smoking Ban's impact five years on whilst the ban has had a huge effect on stopping smokers in public...
" there is no evidence as yet that smokers have given up smoking in huge numbers because of the legislation.
While overall levels of smoking among adults in Great Britain remained constant at 21% between 2007 and 2009, the north east of England saw a different trend.
There, the smokefree ban proved to be a trigger for some adults to quit with the largest drop in smoking in England - from 29% in 2005 to 27% in 2007 and down to 21% by 2011.
"It's children who start smoking, not adults. We need to prevent people starting in the first place, full stop."
For BBCs who are more integrated into British society, whether clubbing, dating, or work, is smoking more to do with 'fitting in' or like Alex, do we take up the habit to be 'rebellious' ? And how easy is it for us to give up, if ever?