It’s been decades since we first had it confirmed that smoking was a killer as well as a popular recreational activity. Yet since the 1960s a large proportion of the population is still unable to shift the tobacco habit, whether they want to or not.

Smoking is a habit that has endured for more several thousand years in some parts of the world. And ever since Christopher Columbus first introduced Europeans to the habit, we have been hooked. Initially, smoking was chewed and smoked as part of important religious ceremonies but it fast grew into the world’s most popular social activity – a title it has retained until very recently as we finally that smoking doesn't pay. Doctors have made it explicitly clear that smoking can drastically increase the likelihood of numerous cancers and cardiovascular diseases, while hefty taxes have left addicts hurting in the wallet.

Although recent statistics show that smoking’s popularity is now at its lowest levels since records began in the 1940s, that still leaves a sizeable 10 million smokers in the UK, each spending nearly £8 a pack on average. In addition, there are now an estimated 2.2 million e-cigarette users in the country. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), men are still significantly more likely to smoke than women, with the number of 16 to 18 year-olds smoking remains proportionally high.

Turning the smoking tide

Thanks to changes in packaging laws – most notably images of diseased vital organs – and campaigns by both the NHS and a number of charities, there are now more reasons to quit than ever before. But if living a longer, healthier life wasn’t enough to keep you from those filtered fiends, here are a few other details that hit the pocket as well as the heart.

The average smoker pays out £141 a month on cigarettes as of 2014 prices. In fact, over the course of a year a 20-a-day smoker will spend upwards of £2,900 on their addiction. Those of us who don’t smoke aren’t free from cost either. The NHS is forced to pay an estimated £2.7 billion every year in the treatment of smoking-related illnesses.

Desperate to stop smoking but find yourself unable to resist the addiction however hard you try? Why not consider our Champix medication to supplement your will power and aid with smoking cessation.

Champix is a prescription-only stop smoking treatment offered by Express Pharmacy to relieve cravings and withdrawal symptoms by countering nicotine dependence. Crucially it is also a treatment that does not involve the use of nicotine doses – unlike nicotine patches. Find out more about our stop smoking medication today.