Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Smoking at 9 in Britain's poorest town

Residents at a Britain town start smoking at an average age of nine, a study by the National Health Service found.

The publicly funded healthcare system made the shocking finds at Merthyr Tydfil, the country poorest town.

Researcher Tracey Bowen said: "Unfortunately it is realistic. I had a patient who started between two and three.

"His parents gave him cigarettes because they thought it was funny."

The study was carried out after medics noticed the high number of tobacco-related illnesses in the town, The Sun reported.

The town with a population of only 55,000, has one of the UK's lowest life expectancy rates and one of the highest of people on sickness benefit.

On the town's Gurnos estate, the average healthy life expectancy for men is just 58.8 years.

Andrew Perriman, 50, started smoking at ten.

He said he used to smoke 40 cigarettes a day but quit the habit after his fifth heart attack.
Source: The Sun, UK

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