One cigarette shortens life by 11 minutes
SMOKING a cigarette will take 11 minutes off your life, according to new research.
Showing just how much time one loses by a few moments of puffing might help to encourage the predicted one million people who plan to give up for the millennium, according to the British Medical Journal. It lists the extra activities that smokers will not have time to enjoy because their addiction means they will die prematurely.
Smoking just one cigarette means you may expire without the chance to spend 11 minutes performing "fairly frantic sexual intercourse", Mary Shaw, the author and researcher at the Economic and Social Research Council, said.
Getting through a whole packet will shorten your life by 3hr 40min, depriving you of time "to watch Titanic, run the London marathon or have tantric sex".
The calculation is based on a man who starts to smoke at 17 and dies at the average age of 71. If he smoked the average amount for a British smoker - 15 a day - he would consume 311,688 cigarettes in his lifetime. But, as a smoker, he would die an average 6Â½ years before a non-smoker. When the calculations were last made, several decades ago, it was estimated that five minutes of life were lost per cigarette. Since then, however, non-smokers are living so much longer that the relative danger of cigarettes has increased accordingly.
At present, around a third of British people smoke and there are 120,000 smokingrelated deaths a year, two-thirds of them from cancer and heart disease.
Clive Bates, the director of Action on Smoking and Health, said that the figures showed that a 20-a-day smoker is losing one day of life for every week of smoking.
"As if that's not bad enough, smokers are likely to die a more painful death and spend longer being ill while they are alive," he said.
The Government's new national campaign, "Don't Give Up Giving Up", is designed to encourage people to stop smoking on January 1, with a free helpline available on 0800 169 0 169. Nearly a thousand calls were made to the line yesterday from people pledging to give up on New Year's Day, a spokesman said.