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190,000 Sign Up for Stoptober

October 1, 2014
Public Health

no smokingPublic Health England’s annual Stoptober campaign begins today with 190,000 smokers pledging to stop the habit for a month. Research has shown that a break of 28 days makes smokers five times more likely to stay smoke free.

Figures from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) suggest there may be as many as 10 million adults in Britain who still smoke, making up approximately 16% of the population. Whilst that is a big reduction on the situation 50 years ago when almost half the adult population smoked, the habit still accounts for over one third of respiratory deaths, over a quarter of cancer deaths and one in seven deaths from cardiovascular disease.

Over 250 employers are also supporting the initiative, including supermarket chain Asda, the British Army and Unilever. Professor Kevin Fenton, PHE’s National Director of Health and Wellbeing, is delighted by the response so far. “The figures speak for themselves – businesses can play an important role in helping their employees and see the benefits of a smoke free workforce,” he said. “Quitting smoking is one of the most significant health improvements a person can make and it is encouraging to see so many businesses and employers supporting Stoptober to help make their workplace happier and healthier places for their staff.”

Smoking related diseases cost the NHS £2.7 billion per year on average, while the government earned £12.3 billion in revenue from tobacco tax between 2012 and 2013.  Join Stoptober here