Over half of smokers 'underestimate death risks'

More than half of smokers misjudge risks associated with the habit, UK researchers say.

A research from NHS Smokefree revealed that 53 percent of smokers underestimate the number of annual deaths from smoking-related diseases by at least 70,000 when the actual number of such deaths is more than 80,000, the Mirror reported.

A further 58 percent underestimated how many long-term smokers die early from smoking-related diseases.

Again 8 percent of those surveyed did not realise smoking can seriously damage their health or lead to early death, said NHS.

Smokers also underestimated how much money goes on cigarettes.

Someone smoking 20 cigarettes a day spends on average 2,405 pounds a year on the habit, but smokers believed it cost roughly 1,800 pounds.

Meanwhile, the UK Government is urging people to quit the habit as a New Year's resolution.

"Quitting smoking is the very best thing you can do to improve your health this New Year," said Public Health Minister Anne Milton.

"What's clear is that the majority of smokers want to quit smoking and free NHS help is available to help them quit for good.

"The new and improved NHS Quit Kit is available in chemists who are working with us across England and will give smokers who want to give up advice, information and tools to help them enjoy a healthier 2012," she added.

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