The research conducted by The Co-operative Pharmacy reveals that a quarter of smokers are in denial because of the stigma associated with it and now only class themselves as social smokers. In reality though, over a third of these are smoking between 6-20 cigarettes a day.

The study also revealed smokers' willingness to openly disregard the law by lighting up in prohibited areas.

“The smoking ban in public places has had a major effect on the health of the nation with a significant number of people giving up, but many smokers are convincing themselves that they are consuming less tobacco than they actually are by classing their habit as a ‘social’ one,” said Catherine Cox, primary care manager from The Co-operative Pharmacy.

“People see it as more acceptable to be social smoker than admitting they regularly light up each day, even though our research shows that this is the case,” added Cox.

The research also says that three in five smokers had previously tried to give up and women were more likely to have tried to quit than men (63 percent compared to 57 percent).

Around one in six of those who had tried to quit smoking succeeded for over a year before being tempted into lighting up again.


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