Never too late to kick the habit

Smokers over the age of 65 who kick the habit can reduce the chances of contracting a fatal smoking-related disease by 50 percent, medical experts said yesterday. On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day today, the Hellenic Cardiological Society (HCS) pointed out in a handout that it is never too late to quit. The number of smokers across Europe is dropping according to a Eurobarometer survey which found that 27 percent of the population smoked in 2005 versus 33 percent in 2002. Figures are less encouraging in Greece, where youngsters are taking their first puff from as young as 11, with about 50 percent of teenagers smoking regularly by the age of 18. HCS said that people who want to quit smoking should do so outright and need to avoid having «just one more.» Additionally, smokers can seek psychological support since the use of nicotine can change the way the brain works, making the need for nicotine more pressing, HCS added. A new support service is available on 210.722.2727 from the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine.