One person quits smoking every 80 seconds in England, figures from Public Health England (PHE) suggest.
As it launched the 2018 Stoptober campaign, the health body said that in 2017, almost 400,000 people in England successfully stopped smoking – the equivalent of 1,069 each day, or one every 81 seconds.
The figures show there are now 6.1 million smokers in England, one million fewer than in 2014, despite new people taking up the habit and former smokers relapsing.
PHE recommends quitters use local stop smoking services along with stop smoking aids, as this is the quit strategy with the highest chance of success and adds that while most smokers try to quit using willpower alone, it is the least effective method.
This year’s Stoptober campaign includes a free online personal quit plan to help identify stop smoking methods and support that will find the right stop smoking support for individuals, including nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products, face-to-face support and e-cigarettes – currently the most popular stop smoking aid in Great Britain, with 3.2 million users.
Smokers should be advised that NRT products are most effective when used in combination – an all-day patch together with a fast-acting option such as an inhaler or lozenges to help them deal with any immediate cravings, PHE adds.
Commenting on the campaign, public health minister Steve Brine said: “Britain is a global leader on tobacco control and our robust policies mean smoking rates have fallen to record lows. But we are not complacent – we know we must do all we can to keep encouraging smokers to quit for good. Quitting altogether is the single best thing a smoker can do for their health — Stoptober is a brilliant chance to go smoke-free for 28 days and see the benefits for yourself.”
Click here to read more about Stoptober and how pharmacy can offer support and guidance.