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15 per cent fewer smokers joined Stoptober 2015

Sat 31st October, 2015

Public Health England (PHE) has revealed that over 215,000 smokers signed up to this year’s Stoptober, the country’s 28-day mass quitting challenge.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies said, "Congratulations to those who have made it 28 days smoke free this Stoptober: your body will already be feeling the benefits and I urge you to remain strong and stop for good.

"One in two smokers will die as a result of smoking. Stopping is one of the best things you can do for health so for those who didn’t manage to make it all the way, I encourage you try again, please go see your GP or local stop smoking service for help."

Martin Dockrell, head of PHE's Tobacco Control Programme, added, "Our campaigns are designed to help people quit so it is fantastic to see that over 215,000 people took part in this year’s Stoptober campaign and benefitted from more personal support than ever before.

"We’re making considerable progress towards a smokefree nation but smoking remains the biggest cause of health inequalities, with the harm hitting hardest in our most deprived communities. There’s still more to do and we must continue to help smokers across England to quit for good."

See Stoptober 2015 concludes (Public Health England).

What PHE failed to mention was the number of smokers who signed up to Stoptober 2015 was 15 per cent fewer than in 2014. According to one report:

The numbers are down on last year when over a quarter of a million people pledged not to smoke for 28 days during the month.

Public Health England (PHE) says the drop reflects a fall in smoking rates from a third of people in 1985 to 18.4% in 2013.

However, the 15% fall in the number of people joining Stoptober this year compared to 2014, far exceeds any reduction in people smoking over the same period.

Simon Clark, director of Forest, added:

"Good luck to anyone who wishes to quit smoking. It's important to remember however that millions of adults choose to smoke and a great many enjoy smoking and don't want to stop.

"We're not against initiatives like Stoptober but tobacco is a legal product and an adult's decision to smoke must be respected. Smoking cessation must be based on choice not coercion or social engineering."

See Thousands try to quit smoking in North East this month (Northumberland Gazette).


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